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N. Y., 

FROM 1662 TO 1886. 






1.88 6. 



[A'' presenting this History of Schenectady County and City to the public y a fnv words of ex- 
planation aftd acknowledgment are due. 

The preparation of so large an amount of historical, biographical and statistical matter as 
is contained in these pages was undertaken by the publishers in a spirit of enterprise and liber- 
aliiy that required no little financial risk. The Editor was induced to assume the cotnpilation 
and editing of this work^ because he belirced there tvasmuch important historical and statistical 
matter that was not in print that ought to be presented in some compact and convenient form, 
and because much published and unpublished materials for the work were generously and kindly 
put at his disposal by the authors and publishers. 

Nearly everything of special interest and z*alue connected with ancient Schenectady is al- 
ready in print, most of which came from the pen of Prof. Jonathan Pearson, the highest au- 
thority in this section of the country, to lohose nearly half a century of unrequited labor in an- 
tiquarian research, the State of New York owes a large debt of gratitude. We desire to make 
generous acknowledgment to him for the use of his published works and unpublished manuscripts, 
from which much material has been gleaned for this ivork. 

It has not been convenient to make special mention, in connection with the various articles 
themselves, of those who have kindly prepared them, in part or whole, therefore, wc wish to make 
the following acknowledgements: To the Rev. Wtn. Elliott Griffis, D.D., who wrote the excel- 
lent article on Prof. Taylor Lewis; the History of the Dutch Church, Schenectady, is substan- 
tially the same as already published from tnaterial prepared by Prof. Pearson and Rev. Dr. 
Griffiis; the History of the First Presbyterian Church, is principally a discourse by Rci\ T. G. 
Darling, D. D.; that of St. George's Episcopal Church, by Rev. IVm. Payne, D. D.; that of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, by Rev. Samuel AfcKean and Prof L. Hoyt; that of the First 
Baptist Churchy by Rcxk H. G. Day; that of the Second Reformed Dutch Church, by J. J. 
Marlett; and the article on Temperance, by Peter Chrisler. 

L. B. Proctor, Esq., the accomplished editor of the ''New York State Bar,'* prepared most 
of the article on The Bench and Bar. For tlu history of Union College we are indebted to articles 
in print, by Prof. Pearson, Dr. F. B. Hough and Prof. Wm. Wells. Prof. S. G. Howe furnished 
valuable information contained in the article relating to the Schools of the City. Mr. Omie F. 
Vedder has rendered valuable assistance in gathering matter especially relating to the Official 
History of the County and City, and preparing it for the press. The Editor hereby acknotvledges 
the kitidness and courtesy of the above-named iftdividuals, and also expresses thanks to the press; 
to the county and city officials for assistance in examining their records; to the pastors of nearly 
all the churches in the county for assistance in preparing their religious history; to the secretaries 
of the numerous lodges, societies and military organisations for data furnished; and to the many 
other persons who have rendered more or less assistance during the progress of this work. 

It is liardly possible that in a work like this no errors will be found; but it is confidently 
hoped that if inaccuracies are discovered, the great difficulty of preventing their occurrence tvill 
be considered, and that they will be charitably regarded. 

Some differences of opinion regarding some old historical facts have been discovered in pub- 
lished works, and have come to us by tradition in a few cases. All information lias been duly 
weighed and preference given to what seemed to be correct. 

The following works have been consulted: " The Sclunectady Patent^' by Prof. Pearson, 
edited by Major J. W. Mc Murray to whofn we are also indebted for the use of plates from which 
some of the illustrations have been taken; " Sanders Early History of Sclunectady,'* " History 


of the Dutch Church*' by Prof. Pearson and Rev, Dr. Griffis; ^^ First Settlers of Schenectady'' 
by Prof Pearson; ^^ Historical Collections of the State of New York;" ^^ Annals of Albany*' 
published by Joel Munsell; Gazetteers of the State of New York; Spafford's Gazetteer; ^^ Memoirs 
of Dr, Nott," by Van Santvoord and Taylor Lewis; '^Public Service of Nezv York State;" 
and ot/ier minor publications. 

The history of some of the towns of the county was prepared by the Rev. E. E. Taylor^ who 
is accredited at the head of each. Many of the illustrations will be familiar to some, but new 
to most of the subscribers. The portraits with which these pages are embellished^ coming as they 
do from the bureau of the most eminent engravers of the day, will commend themselves to all 
who see them^ not only as admirable likenesses, but as choice works of art. 

And now, after two years of labor ^ conscious that this, in a measure, falls short of what 
we had proposed at the outset, the Editor may well say, as did valiant Captain John Mason, in 
his introduction to the Pequot War, " / wish {this task) had fallen into some better hands, that 
might have performed it to the life. I shall only dratv t/ie curtain and open my little casement, 
that so others, of larger hearts and abilities, may let in a brighter light." 





Prof. Jonathan Peanon (Portrait Facing Title-page). . . 137 

Reuben S. Allen $1 

John Bradt 70 

Hon. Piatt Potter 82 

" J. S. Landon 85 

" John Sanders 85 

Dominie Freeman 88 

Henry Ramsey "7. "^ 

Pres. E. N. Potter 150 

" Eliphalet Nott .* 133 

Prof. Tayler Lewis 134 

Hon. S. W. Jackson 136 

Prof. John Foster 136 

Lhringston Ellwood, M. D 143 

Abraham A. Van Vorst 144 

Casper P. Hoag 146 

Wflliam Gibson 150 

C. C. Clute 15a 

N. I. Schermerhom 153 

Howland S. Barney 154 

Jonas H. Crane 156 

Andrew Traux, M. D 158 

Col. J. J. De Forest 171 

Kirby Wflber 181 

Francis Hoag 183 

Hon. George Lasher 184 

William Rector 19I 

Henry R. Wendell 194 

Francis McCann 199 

Hon. Simon J. Schermerhom 214 


Indian Signatures 3t 4« 5? 27 

Map of Bouwlands, 1664 1 1 

Deed of Dutch Church Lot 16 

Mebie House 18 

Yates " 21 

Plan of Schenectady 22 

Destruction of Schenectady, 1690 24 

Map of Town of •• 29 

Indian Castle (from Champlain's Account) 35 

Old Fort 36 

Batteau 46 

Durham Boat 47 

Old Mohawk Bridge 52 

The Dutch Church, 1734-1814. 90 

Interior •• •* 91 

We introduce this and the preceding cut merely as a 
matter of curiosity. They are interesting as giving 
some idea of the old church, but are evidently erro. 
neons in many re sp e cts . 


Plan of Church of 1734 92 

Present Dutch Church 97 

OU Seal of Presbyterian Church IQI 

Tokens ** " IP3 

Methodist Episcopal *' 104 

Young Bfen's Christian Association 1 14 

Academy Buikling, 1795 127 

Union College 128 

Old West College 1 29 

C(41ege Gate 130 

" Brook 131 

Nott Stove 134 

Locomotive 149 

SleepiDg Car 210 




Editor's Prefiux 



First Settlement 

Patent of 1648 5 

Division of Lands 10 

Adult FrcehoUers 17 

Yances 21 

Indian Bwder Wars, 1662-1743 22 

The Old French War, 1743-48 32 

The BeukAidaal Massacre 33 

Fortifications and Garrisons 34 

Military Organizations 39 

Navigatbn 45 

Stage Lines 48 

Railways 49 

Ferries. S« 

Bridges. 5^ 

Borough of Schenectady 53 

The Board of Supervisors. 54 

Superintendents of the Poor 63 

County and SUte Officers 64 

History of the City of Schenectady 66 

Municipal 66 

Board of Health 67 

«« Excise 67 

P«*cc 70 

Fire Depatt'nent 72 

r ichand Bar. 75 

j Fr^esia 4lial SocietKr* 86 

! r^iaritabfc Institutkms "3 

- Yuan(;j4cnV Chris»'-ian Association 114 

' Masqii u Ugmn* ■'jktioos 115 

Ten.pennce 117 

EdueatJonal 120 

Printers and Newspapers. . . , 137 

Medical Soeieliw 140 

Deoliitry U3 

Banki 144 

Water-work* 14S 

Gas-work* 146 

Muiuracluring IndiutriM 147 

Hiitory of Duanesburgh 161 

Clenville 187 

" Niskayuna 193 

" Princetown mo 

■• Rolterdam 107 

Abbey. 164; Abele, no; Abrams, lt6. 164. 169, 180, 186; 
Academy, Schenectad]', 127; Adair, 103; Adams, 140^ 143; 
Adruictia, 14; Adutt Freeholders, 17; Aertsc, 1$. lli, 37; 
Alten, 117; Akin, 104; Aldermen, 67; Alexander, 97, III, 
115, 116, 133, 16a, 161; Allen, Ji, 117, lib, 16S, 181, 186, 
311, 106; AlolfT, 17; Alphonse, 109; Alphonsus.iiz; Ander- 
tOD, 140, 143; Andrews, 96,107; Audrics, 17; Angle, llj, 
114; Ansicker, 149: Anii-Leiilerians, 23, 35; Antiijuarian 
and GenerBl Review, 138; Anti-Rent Association, 161; An- 
toniscn, 195; Appel, 7, 8, 17; Arenbe, 171 Armstrong, 104, 
164; Arnold, 104; Arthur, 107, 138; Ashmore, 109, 133; 
Aihton, 180; AiMKiktion, V. M. C, 114, 115; Atwell, 114, 
160; Aurhampaugh, l8t; Augustine, 111; Aukes, iz, 15, 
17. *3- 

Babcock, 1771 Backus, 99, 103. 106, 107, no, 113, 115, 
■33i IJ'i ^< ^'S: Badglejr, 164; Bagley, l6t, 166; Baiky, 
117, tzz, 153; Kaldas, 199; Baldwin, 101, 303; Baley, 107; 
Ball, 1641 Ballad, 18; Bame, 159; Bancker, it, 17, zo, 89; 
Banker, 90^ 146; Banks, 144, 145; Banyar, 128; Baptist, 
3a; Bar, Schenectady County, K; Barclay, 89, 98; Bar- 
hydt, 13, 44. toi. i>3> iifii UTt 148, 1491 Barker, 116; 
Barnes, l8z; Hartley, 115, 154, 155. 156; Barrett, 106; Bar- 
ringer, 156; Uartlelt, 104; Bastett, 167; Bales, 105; Baum, 
116; Beach, 108; Beakeley, 141, 143; Beal, 144; Ueatlie, 
86, 117, 140; Becker, 169, 170, 1S6, Zio, 217; Il«'k, 17; 
Beekinan,9, 1361 Behr, iiii Belden, 176^ 177; Hellinger, 
180; Bench and Bar, 75-85; Benedict, 86, 109, 144, tSo; 
Bennett, 164; Bentley, 164; Bcrtkley, 164; Berkley, 140; 
Beverage, 164; Bidwell, 106; Bigclow, 143, i8z. Bishop, 
104, Blain, 303; Blair, 301; Blakcslec, 156; Bksiing, 3oi, 
303; Blinn, no; Bloom, 86; Blum, 109; Boardman, 103; 
Bodge. 136; Ik^ardus, 96, 194, 301; Bollis, 114; Bolton, 
t8o; Bont, 13, 15, 17; Borsbooni, 18, ig; Bosboom, 11, 15; 
Bouwiandl, 3, lO; Boyce, 182; Boyd, 111, 144, 183,310,311 
311; Bradford, 170, 186; Bradsbaw, 167, 185, 300, 304, 306, 
3i8;Bi»dl, 8, 11,34, lis, 148,149,156, 186,195, '99. *«>, 
306,113,314.315, 316, 317, 3i8; Bnune*, 161; Braman, 
170, 180, 1S6; Bramans, 181; Bntmen, 180; Braadan, 113; 
Brail, 7. 8, 11. 13, 13, 15, 17, 19, ao, 37, 31, 80; Brayton, 
105; Breaker, 111; Bnwer, 198; Brewers, Maltsters, etc., 154; 
Brewster, 161; Bridges, 53.53; Bridgman, 136; Bciggs, 
86, 164, 167, 176, Z06, 117; Brockmyer, 114; Bradt, 314, 
317; Broeffle, tto; llronck, 19; Bronk, 167, 179, 185, 186; 
Brooks, 148; Broom Com, 147; Bnnigh, 313; Brouwcr, 7, 
I*. 13. '7i 931 Brower, 7, 103; Brown, 98,99, loo^ 101, 106, 
tl3, 114, 116, 158, 169, 179. '^ 18*; Brownell, 133; Bruce, 
177; Bruinagin, 168, 1S6; Brunintaghen, 141; Bryant, 304; 
BuchaMO, 144; Buel, 138; Buell, 136; Buildings, Municipal, 
68; Bull, 13; Bullions, 103; Bullock, loo^iiy; Bundiiiig, 94; 
Burke, 10; fiuidick, 115; Burleigh, 138; Burnhan, 116; 

Burning of Schenectady, 34; Burr, 1 19; Bartesi; 177; Bury, 
117; Budterk, 109, ity, 161; Itutkr, 109, 117, 161; Byce, 

Cady, 144, i64;Cain, 114; CalkiD^ 86; Calver Wey, 1 1 ; 
Cambefbn, 13, 17; Cameron, 133, 164, 178; Campbell, 13. 
41, 116, 144, 149, 151, 153, 301, ;i3, 116, 317, 318; Can- 
fieU, 147: Canlint. 9, 115: Cantley, Z03; Carley. 1:6; Car. 
michael, 143; Carpenter. 105, 117, 141, 164, 183; Cary, 164; 
Case, 153,164, 183, 185; Casey, i7o;CaugIuiawaga, 33;Ciiw, 
IZ4. 116; CeiiBor, 139; Centre. Square, 161; Ccssford. 178; 
Chadsey,86, 135; Chadwick, 169, 1S6; Chambers, 209,217; 
Champion, 134, 135; Chandler, 13, loz, 117, ia6, 140, 141, 
143; Chaplin, T33; Chapman, 101, 164, 1S6; Charlton, 114, 
115; Chase, iSo; Checney, 180; Cheeseman, 105, 106, 141; 
Chequer, 135; Chism, 153; Chrisler. 117, 317; Christiaanse, 
ty; Christie, 303; Chrisller, 153, 309; Christofielsc, 31, 13, 
27; Chubl), 126. 
Churches— tag* 

Christ, City 109 

" I)uaneslnii^h 176, 178 

Christian, Quaker Street 180 

First Baptist, City 106, 107 

Emanuel Baptist,City 111 

Baptist, Duanesburgh 179, iSo 

Methodist Episcopal, City 103, 106 

" " Rotterdam 113 

" " Mariaville igo 

'■ yuaker Street 180 

First I'rcsbylcrian, City 303, 204 

" " Princetown 101, 103 

East Avenue Presbyterian, City no, iii 

First Presbyterian, l>uanesbu[)Th 179 

Evangelical Congregational, City m 

German M. E.. City no 

" Lutheran, City 113 

St. John's, City in, iis 

St. lieorge's Episcopal, City 98, 100 

Church of the Rcilcvmcr, Ihiancsburgh iSo 

Trinity Chapel, ■' 178 

Society of Friends, " 178 

Reformed Presbyterian, ■■ 17S 

The Temple Gcmeinde, Cily 113 

St. Joseph, German R. C, Cily 109, no 

Reformed Nether Dutch, Cily 86 

" " " " Plan of, 1734 91 

" " ■' " Pastors (1740- 

188SI 95, 98 

Second Reibnned Dutch, City 108, 109 

First Reformed Dutch, Princetown 301 

" " " Rotterdam Jii, Z13 

Reformed, Niskayuna 197, igg 

True Reformed Dutch, Ihianesburgh iSo 

Circuit, Schenectady, 104; City Dealers and -Manubctuicn, 
149; Claas, 13, 14; Clacstcn, Z9; Clancy, no, 303: Clare. 
136; Clark, 104, 113, i3o, 133, IZ5. 138, 139, 144; Clark- 
SOD, lOt; Clayton, 168, 3031 Cleary, 136; Clement, 13, 
■4i I5> I?! 146, 148, 164. 182; Clerks. County, 65;Cleve- 
land, 181; Clinch, 115; Clogston, 164, 104; Clover, 177; 
Oose. loS, It6; Cluevcr, 109, no; Clute, 14. 17, 86, 104, 
114, "S- "7. "S. 143. 146, 148, 153, 153, 158, 160, 
193> >95i >98> 'OOt "7t "t; Ctdiea, Lewis, 5, 13, 17; Coch- 
ran, laS; Coduaae, 107; Cockran, 133; Coe, 101, 13S; Cof- 
fin, 185; Colc^ 163; Colei, 195; College Spectator, 139; 



Colltns» i8o; Combs, 164; Commissioners, County School, 
66; Concordiensis, 139; Conde, 34, 153; Conduit, 128; 
Cooey, 203; Conklin, 140; Connestigieone, 27; Conning, 
204, 205; Connor, 34; Conover, 167, 186; Constable, 113, 
143, 144; Convtnt, St. John's, 112; Cony, 200; Cook, loi, 
126, 144, 169; Coon, 141, 168; Coons, 164; Cooper, 106; 
Cordell, in; Corlear, 26; Corlett, 100; Cornell, 106; Come, 
91; Corwin, 180; Couchman, 180; Coulboume. 138, 139; 
Coulter. 205; Countermine, 217, 218; Coval, 213; Cox, 51; 
Craig, 109, 144, 146. 161, 180; Cramer, 148. 151; Crane, 13, 
103, III, 113, 156, 157, 159, 209; Cranesville, 209; Craw- 
ford, 140, 141, 202, 217; Crego, 181; Crocker, 108; Cro- 
mer, 115; Crosby, 161 ; Crowell, 104; Cullings, 168, 178, 
186, 206; Cummings, 102, no, 122, 178; Cummins, 116; 
Cimipston, 126, 144, 176, 177; (Cunningham, 126, 144; 
Curry, 204; Curtiss, 109, 145; Cutting, 176; Cuyler, 14, 122; 
Cuyler'sVlachte, 14. 

Daggett, 86, 142, 144; Dakin, 159; Dale, 117; Daley, 
116, 126; Damen, 12, 20; Danneberg, no; Darling, 34, 99, 
103, 204; Darrow, 159, 204, 216; Davenburg, 186; Daven- 
port, loi; Davis, 102, 139, 141, 145, 151, 158, i6o^ 164, 
169, 180, 182, 186, 201, 211; Day, 107, ni, 113; Dayo, 164; 
Dayton, 169; Dealtry, 116; Dean, 188; De Baum, 198; De 
Bois, loi; Deckelmyer, no; De Courielles, 22; Deed of 
Dutch Church Lot, 16; De Forest, 86, 149, 154, 171, 172, 
207, 210, 216; De Graaf; 9, 13, 17, 34; De Graff, 15, 21, 34, 
93. 95» "4. 144, 195; Delamaler, 140, 141, 142, 167, 185, 
186; Delamont, 21; De I^ Warde, 15, 17; De La vail, 38; 
Deleram, 117, 132; Delluis, 88; De Long, 164; Demarest, 
197; De Moer, 14; Denel, 165; Denningen, no; Denning- 
ton, 160, 164, 170, 186; Dennison, 164, 170, 186; Dentistry, 
143; Depew, 133; De Ray, 37; De Remer, 86, n5, 
145; Do Steenbokker, 17; Deutscher Anzeiger, 139; Deven- 
hurg, 167, i80i 185; De Voc, 180; Devoe, 141; De Vos, 
12; De Wigne, n3; Dickeman, 170; Dillenbeck, 158; 
Dillon, 209; Disbrow, 165; Ditmars, 198; Divisions of 
City, 68; Dod, loi; Dodge, 141, 168, 186; Donald, 
179; Donaldson, 153; T>oncassen, 18; Dongan, 5, 6, 8; 
Donnan, 204, 205, 206; Dom, 161, 164, 168, 179, 205, 
216; Dorpian, The, 139; Doty, 99, 100, 115, n6, 164; 
Dougall, 201, 205; Dow, 197, 213; Dry Goods, 155, 
156; Duane, n3, 122, 125. 141, 142, 143, 144, 161, 162, 
163, 164, 172, 176, 177, 178; Du Bois, 89, 108; Du Mond, 
193; Dun, loi; Duncan, 99, 193, 200; Dunlap, 122, 140^ 
141, 158; Duquid, 178; Duryea, 108, 125, 133, 142; Dusnis, 
86; Dutcher, 201; Du Trieux, 13, 18; Duurloo, 126; Dyck, 

Ihianesburgh — 

Church History 176 

Civil History 1 72, 176 

Civil List (1832-85) 173. 176 

Karly Purchases 161 

Educational 176 

Supervisors (1809-31) 172, 173 

Topographical l6i 

Village 182 

Earl, 180; Eaton, 106, 107; Eddy, 165, 166; Edgar, 179, 
Educational, 120, 137; Edwards, 96, 102, n5, 128; Eenk- 
ling, II, 18, 87; Eggleston, 156, 164; Eiaenmenger, 72; 
Elder, 205, 206; Elias's Plantasie, ii; Ellis, 50, 113, 141, 145, 
146, 149; Ellison, 176; Ellsworth, 144; Ellwood, 142, 143, 
I47> 153 ; Elton, 180; Elwin, 109; Enders, 182 ; Engine 

Hill, 209; Engle, 154; Ennis, 142, 204, 207, 208, 215; 
Erichzon, 90; Ensign, 104; Estes, 166, 169, 178, 182, 186, 
208; Evening Star, 139; Excise, Board of, 67. 

Factory, Shawl, 155; Faiber, ni, 133; Failey, 114; 
Falvcy, in; Farms, 12-15; Famsworth, n6; Farquharson, 
144; Faust, n7, 143; Featherstonhaugh, 133, 142. 163, 164, 
178, 186; Feeling, 120; Feldman, 114; Felthousen, 126; 
Fenn, 126; Fenwick, 117; Ferguson, 126, 164, 186, 203, 204, 
206; Ferries, 52, 57; Finch, 180; Findley, Rev., loi; Finn- 
cgan, 104; Finnley, 203; Fire tVepartment, 72, 75; Fish, 86; 
Fisher, 126, 213, 218; Five Nations, 28; Flansburg, 204; 
Flats, 2, 13, 14, 196; Fletcher, 30; Flinn, 149: Floriad, 
The, 139; Fogcrty, 208, 216, 217, 218; Fonda, 8, 9, 11, 
15, 19, 50, II3> "6, 119, 140, 141, 193; Foole, 116; Ford, 
208; Fortifications and Garrisons, 34, 38; Forts, 36, 37; 
Fort Simon, 34; Foster, 125, 132, 136, 137; Fox, 107, n4; 
Fraking, 16; Franchot, 113; Franse, 7; Fraser, 203; Frazer, 
105; Fredericks, 185; Freedom's Sentinel, 138; Freehold- 
ers, Adult, 17; Freeman, 18, 88, \\i, 159, 160, 161, 182, 
209; Freeman's Banner, 138; Free School System, 125; 
Frelcigh, 198; Frelinghise, 98; Frelinghuysen, 96; French, 
126; Frey, 128; Freydendall, 164; Frost, 170, 179; Fuller, 
86, 99, loi, 127, 142, 158, 164; Furbeck, 133, 201; Furman, 
86, 115; Furniture and Undertaking, 158, 159. 

Gaige, 164, 168, 169, 178, 185, 186; Gale, 182; Ganley, 
121; Gansvoort, 160; Ganzevoort, 19; Gardenier, 168, 186; 
Gardner, 186; Garling, 109, no; Garrison at Schenectady, 
37» 38*1 Gas-works, 146, 147; Gates, 36, 106, 126; (ier- 
ntse, 15; Gey, 164; Gibson, 150, 151; (Ufford, 164, 179, 
200, 203, 204; Gifford*s Hamlet, 200; Gilbert, 126; Gilles- 
pie, 136, 145; Gillette, 106, 107, 117; Gilmour, 151; Glen, 
4, 7, II, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 30, 32, 33, 34, 38, 
193, 195; Glenn, 6, 8, 128; Goodrkh, 86, 105, 144; Good- 
sell, 105; Gordon, 128, 164, 203; Goss, 105; Graham, 114; 
Grant, 27; Graty, no; Grau, no; Graves, 107; Gray, 143; 
Great Flat, 3, 12; Green, 164, 170, 179, 185, 186, 198; 
Greene, 142; Greene Comers, 182; Gregg, 20, 204, 216, 
217, 218; Gregory, 139; Gridlcy, 104; Griffcs, 98, 133; 
Griffiih, 164; Grimm, no; Groat, 153; Grocers, 156; Groes- 
beck, 14; Groot, 7, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 34, 37. 90, 93, 113, 
115, 122, 126, 144, i4Sf I49t »58; Groote, n; Grose, 139; 
Gross, 143; Gunn, 160; Gumsey, 126; Guy, 109. 

Haight, 166; Halliday, aoi; Hall, loi, 105, 123, 124, 
126, 169, 186, 201; Hallenbeck, 21; Hallowell, 126; Hal- 
scy, 126, 133; Ham, 185, 198, 211; Hamilton, 177, 203; 
Hamlui, 135, 139, 198; Hammer, 142; Hand, 125, 198; 
Hanse, 7, 17; Hansen, 13; Harnett, 164, 168, 179, 185; 
Hansmer, 116; Hanson, 1 58; Harden, 164, 182; Harden 
burg, 201; Harding, 158; Harkness, 203: Harman, 141; 
Harreker, 109; Harrigan, 160; Harris, 108; Harrower, 213; 
Hart, 157; Hartman, 178; Hastings, 86, 126; Hathaway, 
160; Haver, 179; Hawood, 105; Heagle, 107; Health, Board 
of, 67; Heath, 106; Hearsey, 100; Heemstraat, 21; Hege- 
man, 143, 151; Heilbronner, in; Helmer, 116, 117; Hem- 
ing, 204; Hengham, 115; Henry, in, 103, 128; Herrick, 

164, 166, 179, 186,208; Herron, 114: Hesseling, 27; Hick- 
ock, 97, 107, no, 126; Hill, 126, 142, 179, 203; Hillyer, 
119; Hilton, 115; Hinne, 198; History of Fire Companies 
74, 75; History of Masonic Organizations, 115, 116; History 
of Municipal Organizations, 66, 69; Hoag, 142, 146, 164, 

165, 166, 178, 182, 183, 185, 186; Hoffman, 112, 139; Hogh, 
185; Holbrook, in; HoUday, 203; Holley, 119; Holmes, 

164, iSo; Hotlon, 205, zo6; Horn. 9; Ijonie of Friendless 
II3;Homrig!iaus, l\2; Hor^ack, 202; HorsfaU, 155; Horst- 
jnan, 149; lloalow. 147; Houghtaling, 105; Houghton, 
304; House Lots, 10; Hover, 70; How, 1671 Howe, 104, 
lib, 133, 186; How!, 164; Hoyt, 114; Hubbard, 182; Hub- 
bell, 133; Hughes, 106, 164; Hulbert, 145; Hnll. 114. 142, 
143; Humphrey, 164; Hungerford, 204; Hunt, 37, 182, ziS; 
HudKt, 116, 117, 153, 17S, Z04; Hutchinson, 317; Hu^ck, 

Indian Wars on the Border, 3Z, 14, zS; Ingals, zoi; In- 
geisoll, 164, 178; Ingoldaby, 20O; Institutions. Charitable, 
113; Irish, 165; Irvine, 136; Irwin, 133; tsaek, 29; Islands, 
14, 15: Ives, 106. 

Jackson, Sj, 86, 113, 116, 136, 151; Jacob, 104; Jake.-, 
an; James, 103, 115; Jan, 15; Jans, 194; Janse, tg, 27, 30; 
Jansen, 19; Jarvie, 153; Jiivis, 166, 17;; Jay. 174; Jenkins, 
164; Johnson, 33. 99, 101, 115, 138, 142, 145. 148, 161, 180, 
204; Johnston, 178; Joncker, 13; Jones, 157, 164, 165, 166, 
1S6, 110; Jonca Car Manufacturing Company, 151. ito; 
Josiiii, 140, 141; Jo«t, I to; Joy, 131; Joyce, 103. 104; Judd, 
101, loii Judges, Counly, 65; Judson, 140: Juffrow'sLandt, 
II; Jukes. 179; Jutkins, 105. 

Kane, 93, 123, 144; Kanquaragoone, 14; Kaslen, no; 
Kaatendieck, 110, 142; Kelly, 9, 99, 101. 102, 105, 139, 165, 
178, 200, 204, 206, 208; Kelly's Station, 200; Kennedy, loj, 
166, 178, 1841 Kems, 2151 Kelcham, 164, 165; Kelchum, 
113; Keyes, 185; Keyser, 13S; Killian, 160; Kilmer, 151; 
Kilmer Wire Band Manufacturing Company, 151; Kincade, 
106, 1381 Kindler, no; King, 116, 126, 164. 16S; Kingsley, 
107; Kinney. 159; Kipp, 108; Kirby, 203; Klein, 17; Kleyn, 
13; Kline, 104; Klokenyer, 93; Knapp, 107; Knauer, 139; 
Koon, 140, 141, 164; Koons, 164, 166; Kii^ear, 195; Kriegs. 
man, 117; Krygier, 19Z. 

La Britton, 154; Ladd, 164, 165, 169, iSz, 316, 118; 
Laibey, 14S; Lake Feathentonhaugh, 161; Lamb, 106; La 
Montague, 3; Lampman, 160; Lancaster, 1 17, 132; Lander, 
164, 185, 204; Lindertse, 7; Ijndor, 8$, 86, 133, 139; 
Lands, Division of, lo; Lands, List of Laity, 7; Lang. 183; 
Lange Oang, lo; Lans, 20i; Lansing, 194, 198, 200, 216; 
La Rue, 126; Lasher, 164. 179, 184, 185, 186; Lason, 164, 
169; Lawrence, (oS, 213; Lawlon, 107, 165; Lawyer, 14; 
Lcc, 126, 139; Lcislcrian?, 33, 25; Lendrums, 170: Leonard, 
106; Leopold, 109; Leroy, 107; Lester, 180; Levey, 167, 
170; Levi, III, 156; Levings,i05; Lcwis,ii9, 134, 135, 167; 
Liddle, 164, 165, 178, 1S6; LideU, 186; Lightball, 94; Ully, 
177; Lindsay, 303; Linn, 117, 138; Utcrary Journal, 138; 
Livingston, 14, IJ, 119, 161; Lloyd, 167; Lockwood, 164, 
301, 217; Locomotive Fireman's Monthly Journal, 139; Lo- 
comolive Works, 149; Lomasney, 86; I-ong, 164; Long- 
worthey, 180; Losee, 216; Lots, House, )o; Love, 1S6, 179: 
Loveridge, 139; 1x>w. 140, 141, 212, 217. 3iS; I>owcll, 109, 
■77< 17^: Luckey, 105; Ludlow, 131; Luffman, 145; Lum- 
ber Yards, 156; Lush, 160; Luycasse, 7, 23; Lydius, 88, 89; 
Lyon. 114. I79' ^3- 

Mabec, 9, 143, 2o6, 215, 216; Macauley, lot; Mackay, 
■43; Mackley, 1S3; Mac Master, 1 78; Macomber, 164, 166. 
■ 84, 186; Magistrates, Board of, 67; Magoilin, 117, 140, 
141, 143; Mair, 135; Mairs, 157, 203; Malrom, 122; Man- 
ning, 170; Mansfield, 177; Manufactories and Industries, 
147; Map of Schenectady, 29; Marcellis, 13, 15, i3, 19, 37; 
March, 193; Marcken, 4; Mariavilie, 1S2, 185; Marinus, 13, 
34: Markle, 164: Marlette, 114, 116, 135, 139, 144 1451 

204, 205, 306. 211. 213. 217, 3iS; Marselis, 19, 94, I4c>i 
Marsh, IZ4, 164, 170, 179, 185; Marshall, 169, 182; Martin, 
9, loo, 144, 154,204; Mucraft, 13, 37; Mason, 103, 117, 164; 
Masonic Organizations, 115-117; Massacre, 33, 34; Mast- 
k raft, 7; Mathews, 113. 115; Matthias, 104; Maurits, 14; 
Maicy, 96; Maxon, 115, 138, 144, 146, 151, 198; Maxwell, 
178,101; Maybee, 148; McAtyrc, 101; McAuley, 102; Mc- 
Bcan, 178; McCallum, 178; McCally. 164; McCannis. 19, 
113, IIS, '45; McCann.igg, zoo; McClelland, 132; McClew, 
178; McCloskey, 112; McClyman, 153, 154; McComber, 
182; McCue, 13, 217; Mcr>eniiid, 141; MclJennott, 160, 
185; McDonald, tol, tl6, 142, 182, 1S4. 1S6, 202; McUou- 
gall.140, 141, 164, 178, 1S6; McEncroe. 146. 160; McFarland, 
99, 164; McGaugh, 179; McGce, 215; McCcogh, 112; Mc- 
Gratr, t66, 1S3; Mcintosh, t66; McKean, 104, 105; McKec, 
302; McKdvey, 197; McKenney, 203; McKenry, 126; Mc- 
Kerlee, 205; McKinney, 178; McLachlin, 153; McLeod,i78; 
McManus & Co., Ij6; McMaster, 168, 205; McMichael, 1 16; 
McMillan, 164, 178, 184, 203, 204; McMillen, 168, 186, 203; 
McMillin, 204; McMutlen, 113, 14S. '59; McNee, 126, 203; 
McNcimy, 110; McQueen, 117, 149, 150, 151; MdJueeO 
Locomotive Works, 309; Mc(,)ueeii & Stage, 151; McShea, 
86, 198: Mead, 143. 166, 178. 183, 1S6, 312; Mcbee, 19; 
Mebie, 13,14, 18; Megapolensis, 86; Meier, 96; Menedy.iio; 
Mercetis, 134; Merchant, 138; Meredith, 106; Merser, 99; 
Menvin, 104; Mesick, 198; Metcalf, 177; Meyers, log; 
Michel, 99, III; Mickel, no; Mickle, 180; Miibanks, 198: 
Military Organizations, 39,45; Millard & Crane, 156. 

Hosiery 153 

Knitting 153 

Schenectady Knitting. 153 

Waterviict .153 

Miller, lot, 198, 303; Milmine, 145, 156, ij7, 205; Miln, 98; 
MiiCellancouB Cabinet, 138; Mitchel, 113, 3ti; Moflatt, 154; 
Mohawk Advertiser, 138; Mohawk Mercury, 137; Mohawk 
Sentinel, 138; Mohawkville, 208. 109; Monk, 126; Monroe, 
99; Mantanye, 164: Monteith, 102. 103; Montgomery. 170; 
Moon, 165, 182; Moure, 100, 115, 133, 125, 151, 164, 169, 
178, 217; Moorhousc, 153; Morey, 164; Morning Gaietle, 
139; Morning Star, 139; Morrie, 126; Morris, 126; Morri- 
son, 117; M(ir9C,ii5; Mott,i64; Mud ge, 180, 200: Muir,5i; 
Mull, 135; Muller, in; Muiroy, 205; Mumford, 144; Miin- 
scll. III, 210; Murdock,l7; Murr7,ll3, 133, 169, 179, 185; 
Myers, II, 113,1141 '25, 14S, 154. S'Sl M/ndersc. 8,30,113, 
141, 142; Myndertse, 7, 8, 19. 

Navigation, Railway, 49, 50; Navigation, River, 45, 48; 
Navigation, Stage, 48,49; Nelli°, 179,185; Nethaway, 16S; 
Netlleton, 102; Newcomb, 203; Newenhuysen, 87; New- 
kirk, 105; New Lights, 103; Newman, 114; Nicholson, 31; 
Niskayuna, 193, 199; Niskayuna District School, 197; 
Niskayuna, Early Settlers, 193. 193; Niskayuna Patent, 195 ; 
Niskayuna, Wars and Fortifications, 195; Noclhen, 109; 
North, i6z, 163, 176, 177, 178; Northrop, 108, in; North- 
rup, 304; Norton, 165; Nolt, 101, 107, 113, 114, 117, 122, 
123, 126, 137, 128, 133, 134, 301, 303, 310, 313; Noxon, 140, 
141; Ncucella, 88. 

Occinn, 197; Oderic, 109; Officers, City, 179S-1885, 68, 
69; Officers, County and Sute, 64, 65; Ogiivie, 98; Old 
Fort, 37; Olin, 155; Olmstead. 106, 136; O'Neill, 185; 
Oulhout, 8, 116; Orlop, 141; Osborne, 217; Ostrander, 
164, 104, 306; Otten, lo; Oudcrkirk, 198; Ouger, 143. 


Paige, 85, 86, 108, 115, 116, 126,133, '44. i^*. Pa>nc» 

126, 136; Palmer, 86, 114, 116, 126, 128, 138, 144, 166,213; 
Parker, 213, 218; Parks, 109; Parsons, 126; Partlienou and 
Academian, 139; Passage, 182, 201, 204; Patent, Braines, 
161; Patent, Cambefort, 14; Patent, Dongan, 8; Patent of 
1684, 5; Patterson, 164, 170, 205, 218; Patterson's Comers, 
182; Pattersonyille, 208; Paul, 106; Pax ton, iii; Payne, 
100, 109; Pazuater, i07;'Peake, 180; Pearse, 198; Pearson, 
137, 142; Peck, io5; Peckham, 117; Peek, 7, 13, 144, 180, 
205,211, 212; Peissner, 133, 135; Pendleton, 100; Publica- 
tions of Union College, 139; Perkins, 114, 131, 133, 142; 
Perry, 16, 195, 211; Phelps, 34; Philips, 20, 201, 217, 218; 
Philipse, 13, 19, 34; Phraner, 108; Physicians, City, 67; 
Physicians, Pioneer, 143; Pickett, 126; Pick, 128; Pierson, 
125; Pieterse, 27; Pioneer, The, 147; Piper, 126; Pitkui, 
149; Pins, 109; Planck, 142; Plank Road, 213; Piatt, 9, 128; 
Poentie's Ril, 11, 12; Polders, 11 ; Polhemus, 185; Pomeroy, 
loi; Pond, 161; Post, 185; Potman, 19, 23, 27; Potter, 13, 
82. 84. 86, 99, 100, 115, 117, 133, 138, 145, 155; Povcrson, 
12; Powers, 160, 180; Prime, 140, 141; Princetown, 200, 
206; Princetown Hamlet, 200; Princetown District Schools, 
201; Princetown Town Officers, 201; Printers and News- 
papers, 137, 140; Proal, 100; Proctor, 126; Protestant 
Sentinel, 138; Proudfit, 135, 203; Provost, 176; Pulver, 
164, 179, 180; Putman, 200, 210, 217, 218. 

Quackenbos, 34, 97, 195; Quackenbush, 179, 185,201, 
212; Quaker Street, 182; Quattlander, no; Queen's New 
Fort, 37; Quick, 164, 217, 218; Quimby, 164, 165. 

Raddiffe, 218; Radley, 164, 167, 170; Railsplitter, 
The, 139; Railways, 49, 50; Rainy, 213; Ramsey, 117, 
120, 160, 178; Ramssaur, 109; Randell, 109; Rankins, 
149, 159; Rawson, 105; Ray, no; Raymond, 197, 201; 
Reaber, 117; Reagles, 142, 156; Rector, 13, 148, 164; 
Reese & Hartley, 158; Reese, 133, 147. 148, 158; Reeves, 
156, 158; Reflector and Schenectady Democrat, 138; 
Rdchs Posaune, 112; Remington, 105, 140; Reynolds, 180, 
198; Rhinehart,i86, 20i,2o6;Rhodc8,i33; Rich,i82; Rick- 
ett,20i; Riggs, 122, 138; Righter, 177; Rinckhout, 18, 19; 
Ritchie, 124, 138; Roach, 142; Roberts, 12, 13, 15; Robin- 
son* I33« 165* 203, 211; Robison, 160, 204, 206; Rockwell, 
164; Rodgers, 128; Rogers, 109, 204; Romeyn, 96, 102, 

127, 128, 197, 212; Root, 164; Rosa, 154, 159; Rose, 169; 
Rosekrans, 201 ; Rosekranz, 116; Ross, 180; Rotterdam, 13, 
206, 208; Rotterdam District Schools, 215; Rotterdam 
Flats, 207; Rotterdam Town Officers, 2i5;«Rowe, 115, 
142; Roy, James & Co., 153; Rushmore, 182; Rynex, 116, 
201, 204, 217, 218; Rynex Comers, 200; Ryswick, Peace 
of, 30. 

Sacia, 125; Sackett, 138; Sager, 2n; Sanders, 8, 18, 85, 
86, 147, 159; Sands, 126, 213; Sassian, 15; Sauter, no, ns, 
217. 218; Savage, 136; Sawyer, 106, 107; Schaats, 143, 27; 
Schaets, 20, 86, 87; Schenck, loi, 202. 

Schenectady, Baming of 24» 28 

«• Cabinet and Freedom's Sentinel 138 

«« • Cabnet 138 

«« Car Company 209, 211 

County Whig....'. 138 

•• Daily Evening Star and Times 139 

•• «« Gazette 139 

" " News 139 

" •« Times I39 

«• " Union I39 

Schenectady Democrat 138 

*• Evening Star 139 

" First Settlement 2, 10 

'* Reflector and Democrat 139 

«* Republican 139 

" Saratoga Standard 138 

*« Star 138 

** Township 1,2 

«« Water-works 145* "4^ 

«« Weekly Union 139 

Schermcrhora, 6. 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 23, 27. 86, 
ns, n6, 122, 138, 141, 145. M* i5>. >53. »54* i7>. "82, 
206, 210, 2n, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219; Scherwin, n3; 
Schneider, n2; School Bill, oldest, 120, 121; School, Illustre, 
127; School, Lancaster, 122, 125; Schoolcraft, 86, 116, 125, 
142; Schoonmaker,2io; Schultze,n2; Schuyler, 6, 7, 26, 213; 
Schwartz, no; Schwenker, no; 5k:hwilk, n2, n3; 
Schwin, n3; Schyler. 193; Scroll, The, 140; Scotia, 18; 
Scott, 160; Scraffbrd, 201, 204, 218; Scully, 1 12; Seari, 
201,210, 212; Searle, 2n; Seaver, n4; Seeley, 148, 157; 
Seclye, 97; Sccsar,94; Selyns. 86; Selzinger, 109; Senators 
of State, 65; Sexton, 123; Seymour, 105, 139; Shaker 
Island, 196; Sheldon, 178, 182; Sherbum, 166; Sheriffs, 65; 
Shipley, 205; Short, 213; Shoudy, 170, 182; Shumway, 
121: Shurtlifl", 9; Shute, 164, 165, 170, 186; Shuter,99, 128; 
Shutt, 164 Sickles, 96; Sigsbee, 217; Simpson, 107; Sisson, 
164; Sitterly, 160; Sixbury, I3; Skeels, 177; Slaaghboom, 
19; Slater, 123, 124; Slawson, 164; Sleicher, 139; Slinger- 
land, 7, 19; Slough ters, 21; Slover, 211; Smart, ni; 
Smeallie, 204, 205, 206; Smedes 100; Smith, 7, 20, 30, 31, 
37, 86, 96, loi, 104, 105, ni, n2, n3, ns, 126, 128. 
138, 143. »45i M6, 158. 159^ "64, 165, 168, 177, 180. 186, 
201, 217; Snell, 186; Sniffiers, 164; Societies, Ecclesias- 
tical, 86; Society, Ladies' Benevolent, n3; Society, Medi- 
cal, 140, 142; Soegeraakelyk, 12; SSlfcy, n3; South 
Schenectady, 208; Spalding, 210; Spencer, n9, 169; 
Spitzer, 143, 212; Sprague, 126, 140; Springer, 204, 210; 
Squire, 140, 141; Staats, 23; SUckpole, 140; Stage, 48, 
151; SUley, 126, 133, 185, 204, 217, 218; Stanford, 139, 
145, 146, 153, 160, 193, 198; Stanton, n6, 144; Starks, 
\\y^ Starkweather, 180; Stead, n4; Stebbins, 100, 105, 
n3, 122, 177, 195; Steel, 105; Steeling, 213; Steers, 199; 
Steinfurhuer, 142; Sterling, 205; Sternberg, 169; Stems 
ni; Steuben, 162; Stever, 109; Stevens, 7, 13,86, 126, 
138, 164, 165, 168, 178; Stevenson, 137, 179; Stewart, 170; 
Stiles, 123, 124; Slillwell, 164; Stockwell, 126; Stone, 138; 
Stoppelkamp, no; Stoves, Nott, 134; Stringer, 143; Strong, 
82, 86, 169; Struene, no; Stryker, 201; Stuart, 178; 
Sturges, 202; Summerbell, 180; Superintendents of Hose, 
74; Supertntend^ts of Poor, 63, 64; Superintendents of 
Streets, 67; Supervisors, 54, 62; Surrogates. County, 65; 
Susholz, ni, 154; Sutherland, 138; Swan, n7; Swancker, 
217; Swart, 7, n, 12, 13, 14, 19, ns, n7, 148, 149. i54, 
156, 217; Sweet, 156; Swits, 7, 8. 9, 12, 17, 19, 29, 90, 
109, n6, 144, 159; Symonse, 31, 193; Symonse's Meadow, 
II; Synagogtie, Jewish, in. 

Taggert, Richmond, 106; Tallman, Jedediah, 178; Tal- 
mage, 23, 25, 108, 198; Tanner, Agnes, 170; Taylor, 51, 
97, loi, 108, 109, III, 122, 127, 128, 201, 208, 213; Taws, 
20s, 206; Tele, 109; Teller, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 19, 115, 158; 
Temperance, 117; Templar, 204; Templer, 2or; Ten Broeck, 
26, 128; Teneyck, 15 ; Terworth, 126 ; Tennisse, 4. ^SJ 
Thatcher, 151; Thayer, 138, 139; Thesschenmaecker, 27, 



87, 88, 120; Thomas, 164, 177; Thompson, loi, 138, 144, 
"Sif 154. 158, 176, 177, 198; Thomson, 86; Thornton. 177; 
Thurston, 124; Tichenor, 114; Timeson, 158; Tinning, 204^ 
205, 206; Titball, 166; Titus, 186; Todd, 102; Toll, 14, 
IS» '7» J9» 20, 33, 140, 141, 147; Tomlinson, 9. 100; Tomp- 
kins, 116; Toneh'er, 140, 141; Tower, 213; Townsend, 133; 
Toy, 109, 116; Tread way, 156; Treasurers, County, 65; 
Treis, 109; Trepp, 165; Tripp, 164, 165, 186; Troup, 177; 
Truax, 20, 113, 114. 115, 133, 140, 141, 142, 145, 158, 211; 
True, 198; Tullock, 164, 178, 211; TuUy, 200; Tupper, 
123; Turnbull, 164, 166, 178, 185, 186, 200, 208, 217, 218; 
Tyms, 8. 

Underhill, 164; Union College, 128, 137; Union College 
Magazine, 139; Unontan, The, 140; Union University, 133. 

Van Allen, 143; Van Alstyne, 21; Van Antwerp, 33, 34, 
122, 198; Van Antwerpen, 13, 18, 19, 34, 37; Van Auken, 
180; Van Bcncchoten, 180; Van Benschoten, 197; Van 
Benthuysen, 19; Van Brakel, 7, 12, 15, 27; Van Brakelen, 
'2, 19, 37; Van Brough, 194; Van Cise, 94; Van Copper- 
nol, 13, 14; Van Curler, 11, 12, 19, 196, 207; Van De 
Bogart, 7, 19, 20, 27, 34, 86, 125; Vandenbergh, 91; Van 
der Baast, 15; Vanderbogue, 201; Van der Heuvel, 143; 
Vandermoor, 160; Vandenreer, 211; Van der Volgen, 8, 12, 
90» 93* 1^6; Van der Volgers, 20, 89; Van Desolow, 212; 
Van Deusen, 157; Van Ditmars, 12, 27; Van Driesen, 89, 91 ; 
Van Dyck, 20, 115, 156, 160, 211, 218; Van Kpps, 8, 19, 
86, 142, 148, 161, 211, '217, 218; Van Eps, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 
14, 15, 17, 20, 23, 27, 207; Van Guysling, 207; Van Hern, 
180; Van Home, 145; Van Ingen, 124, 127, 143; Van 
Isselseyn, 12; Van Lice, 31; Van Ness, 12; Van Olinda, 13, 
14, 30, 143, 195; Van Orden, 121; Van Otto, 206; Van 
Patten, 12, 103, 115, 142, 148, 215, 217; Van Petten, 8, 9, 
12, 20, 31; Van Potten, 8, 217; Van Purmerend, 12; Van 
Rensselaer, 2, 26, 128, 163, 194; Van Sanford, 197, 201, 
215; Van Santford, 95, 96; Van Schaaick, 18; Van Schaick, 
34; Van Slichtenhorst, 163; Van Slyck, 11, 13, 14, 15, 30, 

31. 33. 34. 37. 145. 149. 2". 217. 218; VanSlyke, 148, 153; 
Van Soligen, 118; Van Valkenbtirgh, 204, 217; Van Vech- 
ten, 9, 96, 122, 177; Van Velsen, 6, 23, 27, 38; Van Vorhis 
126; Van Vorst, 17, 19, 33, 34, 86, 103, 125. 133, 142, 144, 
145. >S6; Van Vranken, 29, 114, 122, 123, 125, 145, 146, 
159, 160, 198, 200; Van Wagnen, 197; Van Woert, 140, 
141; Van Woggelum, 11, 12; Van Wormer, 217, 218; Van 
Zandt, 109, no, 142, 212; Vasborough,34;Vedder, 7, 8, 12, 
19, 20, 25, 31, 34, 40, 86, 89^ 95, 113, 114, 125, 126, 139, 

141, 142, 148, 156, 159, 182, 192, 198, 200, 207, 211, 212, 
214, 215, 216; Vedder & Van Voast, 156; Vceder, 8, 11, 
12, 13. 20, 21, 34, 37, 90, 93, 114, 124, 128, 141, 142, 144. 
145, 148, 149, 154, 156, 158, 160, 215, 216, 217; Veeder's 
I Mills, 11; Velie, 147; Vermyle, 98,210; Vetch, 31; Victory, 
1^169; Viele, 7, 13, 15, 17, 20, 27, 34, 95; Vine, 123; Vining. 
i 19; Virgin, iii; Vischer, 32, 210; Visscher, 19; Voigl, 109; 
Vonda, 7; Voorman, 116; Vought, 141, 201; Vrooman, 6, 
7, 8, 9, 15, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 31, 34, 91, 96, 98, 114, 123, 
128, 140, 143, 148, 154, 159, 193, 214. 

Waddell, 164, 179, 217; Wade, 141; Wainwright, 109; 
Walker, 113, 157, 204; Wallace, 144; Wallard, 215; Walms- 
ley, loi, 140, 141; Walpole, 116, 168, 185, 186; Walters,ii3; 
Walton, 13, 128, 144; War, Civil, 41, 45; War, Old French, 32; 
War of 1812, 41; Ward, 117; Warden 164, 198; Wamer,i6o; 
Wart, 166; Washington, 53, 54; Wasson, 177, 217; Water- 
works, 145, 146; Watson, 117; Weast, 201, 203, 204, 218; 
Weaver, 164, 185; Webb, 103, 210; Webber, 107; Webster, 
132; Weeks, 140, 141; Weide, 178; Weincke, 154; Weller, 
117, 154; Wells, 14, 133, 198; Wemp, 6, 7, 8, ii, 14, 15, 
21, 23, 27, 31, 34, 37, 90, 193; Wemple, 8, 13, 51,201. 211; 
Wendell, 9, 21, 23 100, 116, 160, 193, 194, 195; Wesley, 
164; Westerlo, 197; Western Advertiser, 137; Western 
Budget, 138; Western Spectator and Schenectady Weekly, 
137; Westervelt, 119; Westinghoiise, 151; Weston, 160, 163; 

; Wetmore, 177, 199; Wheeler, 115, 140, 141; Whitbeck, 198; 

j White, 99, 116, 117, 218; Whilehom, 133, 142; Whitfield, 
103; Whitmyre, 149; Whitney, 106, 127; Whyting, 201; 
Wibbe, no; Widner, 105; Wiederhold, 154; Wiggins, 121, 
164; Waber,i64, 166, 178, 181, 182, 186; Wilds. 126; Wiley, 
170, 216; Wilie, 28;Wilkie, 114; Wilkinson, 164; Willies, 107; 
Williams, 217; Williamson, 108, 116, 117; Wilson, 99, 185; 
Wiltsie, 164, 167, 168, 185, 186, 206, 213; Wing, 164, 182; 
Wingate, 164, 204; Winne, 198, 200; Winterwyck, 89, 191; 
Wiseman, 139; Witbcck, 159; Withcrspoon, 105; Witheral, 
213; Wolf, 112, 132; Wood, 140, 141, 164, 170, 171, 186, 
204; Woodward, 141; Wooley, 141; Wortman, 98, 133; 
Wreath, The, 138; Wright, 7, 160, 167, 169; Wyatt, 148; 
WyckofF, 137, 180; Wylie, 178. 

Vances, 21; Yates, 9, 19, 21, 33, 85, 86, 90, 93, 113, 114, 
115, 116, 122, 123, 126, 128, 138, 140, 144, 156, 158, 160, 
201, 212; Velverton, 65,86; Yonse, 21; Yost, 170; Youlen, 
109, 213; Young, loi, 104, 115, 142, 165, 178, 201, 202, 

Zeiser, 109; Zeller, 178; Zoeller, 109. 









EARLY in the seventeenth century, North 
America, east of the Mississippi, was claimed by 
right of discovery by four European nations: 
France, England, Spain and Holland. Although 
for fifty years there were but few colonists sent 
over, the whole continent was too small to hold 
them in peace. Jealousies and bickerings were 
rife; the French crowded the English, and the 
English crowded the Dutch, until finally the latter 
disappeared altogether, and the rivalry between the 
former continued one hundred years longer. It 
was as plain then as it is now that rival nations 
could not exist in the Mississippi Valley. 

The French commenced the settlement of Canada 
in 1603. Their object was two-fold: the conver- 
sion of the natives to the Christian faith, and trade. 
The missionary and the trader, therefore, went 
forth together visiting every tribe in the valleys of 
the St Lawrence and the Mississippi, and render- 
ing to each other mutual aid and assistance. 

No nation was ever more successful in winning 
the esteem and respect of the natives. The flexi- 
bility of the French character and the indomitable 
patience of their missionaries were the secrets of 
their success. The Iroquois, or Five Nations, alone 
resisted their influence. Their friendship was the 
salvation of the Province of New Vork. They 
claimed all the territory lying between the Hudson 
and the Maumee rivers, so that the French of 
Canada could never aim a blow at Albany or 
Schenectady without striking over the heads of the 
Five Nations. This celebrated confederacy, the 
terror of all surrounding tribes, was made up of the 
Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and 
Senecas, five allied tribes, who acted as oqe 
nation; herein lay their influence. 

During the long contest for dominion on this 
continent between the French and English, 
they held the balance of power, and were assidu- 
ously courted by both parties. 

But after 1760, when the French influence 
ceased, their importance declined; mm and gun- 
powder had diminished their numbers, and the 
once powerful Mohawks had almost ceased to 
exist as a separate tribe. 

During the Revolutionary war, large portions of 
the Oneidas and Tuscaroras favored the colonies, 
and for safety were transferred to Schenectady; 
while most of the Onondagas, Cayugas and the 
Senecas, the more numerous and westerly tribes, 
adhered to Great Britain and became an awful 
scourge to the frontier settlements in the Schoharie 
and Mohawk valleys. 


The ancient township of Schenectady embraced 
a territory of 128 square miles, a portion of the 
Mohawk valley sixteen miles long and eight miles 
wide. The western half is an irregular plateau, 
elevated 400 or 500 feet above the Mohawk, a 
spur of the Helderberg, passing north into Sara- 
toga County; the eastern half is a sandy plain, 
whose general level is 300 or 400 feet lower. The 
river, running through the middle of this tract in a 
southeasterly direction, forms the most beautiful 
and striking natural object in its landscape. At 
the western boundary, where it enters the town, it 
flows through a narrow valley, whose sides, though 
covered with foliage, are too steep for cultivation. 
From the hill Towereune, the valley widens grad- 
ually to Poversen and Maahuvck, where the hills 
sink down into a great sand plain. Until the river 
reaches the City of Schenectady, it is a 
^ constant succession of rapids, and its general 


course is southeast; here it makes a great bend, and 
flows with a deep, sluggish current northeastward 
to the Aal Plaais^ the eastern boundary of the 
town. The tributaries of the Mohawk within the 
town are small and unimportant streams; those at 
the west end, flowing from the slates, are nearly or 
quite dry in summer, while those at the opposite 
end, fed from the sand, are constant spring brooks. 
But of these streams, few are of sufiicient SHS^ and 
constancy now to serve as mojtive power. 

With the exception of a little limestone in the 
extreme western limits of the town, all the rocks 
found in place belong to Hudson shales, and con- 
sist of alternate layers of blue slate and sandstone, 
some of which are used for building purposes. 

In the west half this geological formation is most 
abundant, and the soil there is a clayey loam, 
underlaid with clay or hard pan. The immediate 
valley of the river, where it breaks through the range 
of hills, is narrow and composed chiefly of drift of 
at least two elevations. The highest, called the 
"stone flats," raised twenty to thirty feet above 
the water, consists of coarse gravel and bowlders, 
and is chiefly found on the north side of the river. 
The opposite bank is a lower plain of sand and 

The eastern half of the town has no hills worthy 
of the name; its general level is perhaps loo feet 
above the Mohawk, «aikd the prevailing soil is a 
fine sand, underlaid with clay, except in the ex- 
treme eastern limits, where the clay loam again pre- 

Besides this there is found in the bends and 
eddies of the river, and upon the low islands, an 
alluvial deposit Vrhich is enriched by the annual 
floods. This constitutes the widely known * • Mo- 
hawk Flats," which, though cultivated by the 
white man for more than 200 years, have lost little 
of their unsurpassed fertility. 

In the early period of the settlement no other 
land was tilled, hence they were called the land, 
arable land, or bouwlandt, all else being denomi- 
nated woodland, and litde valued. In addition to 
their fertility, these flats presented another advan- 
tage to the first settler; they were mainly free from 
wood and ready for the plough and seed. For 
ages they had been the native's com land, whilst 
the adjacent forests and river famished him with 
flesh and fish. 

The great sand belt which passes across the 
town from south to north was once covered with a 
heavy growth of pine, while the high lands lying 
north and west of it produced the usual varieties of 
hard woods. Nothing could have been more 

charming to the eye of the first white man traveling 
up the Mohawk to Ticonderoga (Fort Hunter) 
than the flats skirting the river banks, clothed in 
bright green of the Indian corn and other summer 
crops of the red man. In 1642 the kind hearted 
Arent Van Curler visited the Indian castles on an 
errand of mercy, to rescue some captive French- 
men from the hands of the cruel Mohawks. On 
his return he wrote to the Patroon (Kilian Van 
Rensselaer) in Amsterdam, that a *' half day's jour- 
ney from the Colonie^ on the Mohawk river, 
there lies the most beautiful land that the eve 
of man ever beheld, " Who that has stood upon 
Niskayunaberg or Schuylenberg and looked west 
and north over the bouwlandi and the adjacent 
islands can wonder at the rapture of the enthusi- 
astic Dutchman, or can fail to discern in his ad- 
miration the budding of that idea which twenty 
years after blossomed into the settlement of which 
he was the leader. 

The site of the village of Schenectady was ad- 
mirably chosen. No other spot in the neighbor- 
hood of the bouwland offered such facilities for a 
village. From the eastern end of the "Great Flat" 
there makes out from the sandy bluff which sur- 
rounds it a low, narrow spit, having upon the east, 
north and west sides the Mohawk River and Sand 
Kil. The extreme point, only about 1,200 feet 
wide, was chosen for the site of the future city, a 
warm, dry spot, easily fortified against an enemy, 
and sufficiendy elevated to be safe from the annual 
overflow of the Mohawk River. This little flat 
contains but 175 acres, and it was the site of an 
earlier Indian village, which tradition says was a 
former seat or capital of the Mohawks. 


If we may believe tradition, Schenectady had 
already been occupied by the white man many 
years when Van Curler first visited it in 1642; in 
fact, it has been claimed to be litde, if any, junior 
to Albany. 

That a- few fur traders and bosloopers early roved 
among the Mohawks, married and raised families 
of half-breeds, cannot be denied; indeed, there are 
respectable families in the valley to this day, whose 
pedigree may be traced back to these marriages. 
But that the white man made any permanent settle- 
ment on the Mohawk west of Albany, before 1662, 
there is no good reason for believing, and in view 
of the opposition of Albany and the Colonic, im- 

June 18, 1 66 1, Arent Van Curler, the leader of 
the first settlement, made formal application to 


Gov. Stuyvesant for permission to settle upon the 
'* Great Flat " lying west of Schenectady. 
The reply was as follows : 

June 23, 1661. 

'*The letter of Arent Van Curler being presented 
and read on the i8th June, containing in sub- 
stance a request by him and a few other persons 
for the large plain situated to the back of Fort 
Orange, toward the interior, for the purpose of cul- 
tivation, and consent to purchase the same from 
the original proprietors and make a settlement 
there, etc., which, being maturely considered, the 
Director-General and Council resolved to consent 
to it; provided that the said lands, on being pur- 
chased from the native proprietors, be, as usual, 
transferred to the Director-General and Council 
aforesaid, as representatives of the Lords Directory 
of the Privileged West India Company; and that 
whatever the petitioners shall pay for the aforesaid 
lands to the original proprietors shall in due time 
be returned to them, or be discounted to them 
against the tenths. '* 

Before the Governors authority was received at 
Beverwyck a freshet laid the country for miles 
around under water. This was followed, a few 
days after (June 26), by an inundation much 
greater than the first, which forced the inhabitants 
to quit their dwellings and fly with their cattle for 
safety to the woods on the adjoining hills. Incal- 
culable damage was caused by these irruptions. 
The wheat and other grain were all prostrated, and 
had to be cut mostly for fodder, affording scarcely 
seed sufficient for the next spring. 

This visitation caused the postponement of the 
purchase of the '* Great Flat" until the ensuing 
month, when the following deed was obtained from 
the Indian owners : 

Compareerde voor mij Johannes La Montagne 
ten dienste van de Groet Westendische Compagnie 
door de G' en Racden Van Nieu Ned"^*"* geadmit- 
teert, Viers Direct en Commies op de fort" Orangie 
en Dorp Beven*'y, eenige Oversten van t'Maquaes 
Lant genaempt Cantuquo, Sanareetse, Aiadane 
Sodackdrasse eigenaers van een seeckere stuck 
Landts genaempt Op duyts de Groote Vlackten 
Liggende achter de fort Orangie tusschen de selve 
en het Maquaes Landt de welcke Verklaeren gece- 
deert en getransporteert te hebben gelyck sij see- 
deeren en transporteeren by deesen in reele en 
Actuelle possessie en sijgondom ten behoeve Van 
S' Arent Van Corlaer Ret gemelde stuck Landts of 
groote Vlackten op Wildts genaemdt Schonowe (is) 
in syn begrip en circonferentie met syn geboomte 
en killen voor een seecker getal of Cargosoenen 
voor welck de transportanton bekennen sattisfactie 
van gehadt te hebben renonceerende voor nu en 
allyt op alle eygendom en pretensie die sij op het 
gemelde stuck landts tot nutoe gehadt hebben, 
beloovende het te bevryden voor all pretensie die 
andere Wilden soude hebben konnen. Actum in 

de fort" Orangie den 27* July A, 1661, in presentie 
Van Marten Mouris en Willem Montagne daertee 

dit ist merck 

The Bear. 

van Cantuquo. 

dit ist merck van 

dit ist 

merck van 

In Kennisse van mij 
Im Montagne 
V. D' en Commies 
opt fort" Orangie 

M. Mou(ris) 
William de La Montagne. 

( Translation, ) 

Appeared before me Johannes La Montagne, in 
the service of the Privileged West India Company, 
by the Director-General and Council of New Neth- 
erland admitted vice-director and clerk (commies) 
at Fort Orange and village of Beverwyck, certain 
sachems of the Mohawk's land named Cantuquo, 
Sonareetse, Aiadane, Sodachdrasse, owners of a 
certain piece of land named in Dutch the Groote 
Machte, and lying behind Fort Orange, between 
the same and the Mohawk's lands, who declare 
that they have granted, transferred, as by these 
presents they do grant and transfer, in real and 
actual possession and ownership to the behoof of 
Mr. Arent Van Corlaer, the said piece of land or 
Great Flat, by the Indians named Schonowe, in its 
compass of circumference, with its woods and kils, 
for a certain number of cargoes, for which the 
grantors acknowledge they have had satisfaction; 
renouncing henceforth and forever all ownership 
and pretensions, which they to said pieces of land 
heretofore have had, and promising to free it from 
all pretensions which other Indians may have. 
Done in Fort Orange the 27*'' July, anno 1661, in 
presence of Martin Mouris and Willem Montagne, 
hereto invited. 

This is the mark 
This is the mark 
This is the mark 

X of Cantitql-o. 
X of Sonareetsie. 
X of Aiadane. 

M. Mou(ris) 

William de La Montagne. 

Acknowledged before me. 
La Montagne V. D., and 
Clerk at Fort Orange. 

Much difficulty was encountered in gaining 
possession, and in the allotment of the land 
among the Van Curler's Company. After a 
delay of two years, Governor Stuyvesant came to 
an understanding with the settlers, and the several 


lots and farms were surveyed and conveyed to them 
by patents. 

The description given in this deed was quite in- 
definite, and restricted the inhabitants to a com- 
paratively small area. 

At this time, and even for many years later, 
nothing was called landtuct^^ the islands and allu- 
vial flats bordering upon the river. Within ten 
years after the settlement commenced, all the tilla- 
ble land was taken up, and it became necessary to 
look for more farther west. Hence originated an- 
other negotiation with the Mohawks, and the fol- 
lowing deeds extinguishing the Indian title to the 
lands along the river to the present westerly limits 
of the county: 

On this 28th May, 1670, Kennighke and Auro- 
ensie, both sakemakers of the Maquase, acknowl- 
edge to have thankfully received the remainder of 
the sewant, tubs [of beer] and gunpowder, accord- 
ing to the tenor of the accompanying contract, and 
free the aforenamed buyers henceforth from all 
claims, and promise never more from this date to 
make any new action. 

In witness of the truth of which we have sub- 
scribed this with our own hands by our accustomed 
marks, at Schanechted, on the date as above, in 
presence of Robbert Sanders and Jacques Cor- 
nelise [Van Slyck], both called as interpreters 

This mark 

was set by 

This mark 


This mark 


was set by 

was set by 

Robert Sanders, 

These letters were y^ C 1^ E S set by 
Jacques Cornelise, 

In my presence, 

J. G. V. Marcken, 


On this 3d day of July, A** 1672, appeared be- 
fore mee John Garretsen Van Marken, admitted 
publ: nota: by the worshipful court of Albany and 
the Inhabitants of Schanhectade, together with a 
sartain Indian called Dohorywachqua and Crage, 
being the representative of y* foure Mohockx Cas- 
tells, who declared and promised to hold firm and 
stable, and will cause to be held in full force and 
virtue all and whatsoever hee shall act or doe in 
y* sale of y Lands Lying Neare The Towne of 
Schanhechtade, Within Three Dutch Myles in 
compasse on boath sides of y* River Westwards, 
which endes at Hinguariones [Towareoune] Where 
the Last Battell Wass between The Mohoakx and 
the North Indians; Provided That Jaackes Corne- 

lisse [Van Slyck] Shall have the first flatts or playne, 
— Except y* Inhabitants of Schanhechtade will Re- 
store unto said Jaaques G>melisse Two Rundlets 
of Brandy and one hundred hand of Wampum, 
which being paid unto s** Jaaques The said first 
Playne to Remaine to the Towne. 

Whereupon Sander Leenders Gelen, being a 
former magistrate, and John Van Eps, and Sweer 
Teunisse [Van Velsen], being y* present magis- 
trates of y* s* Towne, did acknowledge and de- 
clare That They Weare Agreed with y* s** Indians 
uppon y* purchase of y* Land for y* Summe or 
quantity of six hundred hands of good Wheyte 
Wampum, Six koates of Duffels, thirty barres of 
Lead and nine bagges of Powder, Which They doe 
promis unto y* s* Indians in two Terms, viz. : The 
first as soon as The Sachems, or any person by 
Them authorized, shall Comme out of ^ Country 
and Produce full Power from Theyre Inhabitants 
according to Theyre usuall manner, and have 
thereupon delivered unto ye s* Indian as a pres- 
ent for The old man in the Mohawk Countr}- a 
Rundlet of brandy, — ^To the end all Misunder- 
standing and Complaints May be Washt of and 

To The trew performance of The premises The 
%^ parties have hereunto Set theire handes, and 
Wass Interpreted by Comelis Viele in The Absence 
of Jaques Comelisse, — In Schanhechtade, the date 
above written. (Signed) 

With the Markes of followeth 

The Marke 


The Marke ^^ ^^ Crage. 

Sander Leenders Gelen, 
John Van Eps, 
SwEER Teunisse. 

Attested by me, 

J. G. V. Marken, Notar: publ: 

(Coppy) This day the 13^ of July is pay** unto 
the Indians above mentioned in parte of ye pur- 
chaze foure hundred hands of Wampum, 3.0 barres 
of Lead 3 bagges of pouder. More for a pres- 
ent, 3 ankers good beere, one koatt of duffells, 
together with the above mentioned Rundlet of 

(Coppy Transl:) A** 1672 the 13^'' day of July, 
Did the underwritten Indians appeare before us 
and do declare that They did confirm all and 
whatsoever the Above written Indians by Name 
Tohoriowaghque and Crage in the Annexed In- 
strument have acted, and doo by these presents 
prommise, with the Last payment to give all fur- 
ther assurances of the s** Land, and That They and 
Theyre heires Shall desist from all further Claymes 
and pretences whatsoever. 

In Witness whereof They have hereunto set 
Theyre handes. In Schanhechtade at the house of 
Gerritt Bancker and in the presence of Severall 
particular Indians The Day and Yeare Above 


Signed with ye ToltowiDg markes. 
The Marke ^^L ol" CAKACHQia 
The Marke 4^ of Ocquakry. 

The Marke _,^j/~ of Tohoriowachque. 

Attested by mee, 

(Signed) J. G. \'. Marcke, Nota. pub. 

Compared and found to agree with the printiip: 
by mec. 

Ll-dovicus Cobes. secret 

By virtae of the foregoing convej-ance from ihe 
Indian proprietors, application was then made to 
the Governor and Council for a patent, which 
reasonable petition was denied, the reasons for the 
refusal being that " leave from ye Governor to buy 
ye same" had not been first obtained, and that 
" full information of the premises " was not given. 

To add to the difficulties of the case, the JIo- 
hawks were inclined to repudiate the sale of their 
lands, or at least demand a double compensation, 
as shown in the following minute of a council 
held by the Mohawks, Ijefore the Governor: 

The Sachem spake for himself. That one Arent 
Van Corlaer bought all Schannectade and paid for 
it, but now there be some who have bought only 
Grasse, and pretend to the land allso; they say allsu 
that they have bought the first flatt, but that is not 
so, for it belongs to Acques Comelisse [\'an Slyck], 
who is to have it, and none else, for he is of their 
[Mohawk] people, and it is his inheritance;^ — that 
there are writings made of a sale of land, but it 
was never sold, but only the grasse, tho' it may be 
some drunken fellows may have made some writing 
without their knowledge, — That they have only 
bought the Grasse and now are going to live upon 
it, but they ought to pay for the land as well as 
the Grasse, and that they had given some to that 
woman Hillah and another I^ah, who have the 
property of it; — the others have only the Grasse; — 
That now he has declared this matter and desires 
notice may be taken of it; and says that shame 
shall never come upon him, or to be found in a 


That it is the custom of the Government and 
amongst Christians when they sell the Grass to sell 
the land allso; and if ihey be not paid for the land 
they shall be, and that the people of Schannectade 
say that they sent Acques to purchase the land in 
the name of their Town, and that Acques bought 
in his own name; and ihey sent allso one Kemel to 
purchase it for the Towne, the Indyans told him 
that Acques had bought and paid some part of the 
payment, and they desired ihem to pay Acques the 
money back and the Towne should have i^ which 

the Towne did and Acques was satisfied; it is the 
custom of this place lo do justice among ouiselves 
and if Acques have a better title than they for it 
he shall have it 

Whatever may have been the arguments used on 
this occasion, whether in the shape of ' ' ankers of 
good beere," or a " run diet of brandy" — potent 
reasons ever with the Indian — opposition ceased 
from this time, and the Governor and Council were 
brought to grant the inhabitants the following 
much-needed patent for the ancient township, 
afterward City of Schenectady. 

PATENT OF 1684. 

Thomas Dongan, LeiutenantandGovemour and 
Vice-Admirall under his Royall Highnesse, James, 
Duke of Yorke, &c., of New Vorkeandits Depen- 
dencves in America, &c. 

To all to whom these presents shall come, 
Sendeth Greeting, Whereas Tohorywachqua and 
Crage, Representatives of the four Mohake Castles, 
have for themselves, and Canachquo, Ocquary, and 
Tohoriowachque, true and Lawfull Owners of the 
Land within menconed, have by their certaine 
Wrileing, or Deed of Sale, dated the third day of 
July Anno Dni 1672, Given and Granted unto 
Sander Lend" Glenn, John Van Epps, Sweere 
Teunesse, as being impowered by the Inhabitants 
of the Towne or Village of Schenectady and 
Places adjacent, a Certaine Tract or Parcell of 
Lands, beginning at the Maques River, by the 
Towne of Schenectade, and from thence Runnes 
Westerly on both sides up the River to a Certaine 
Place called by the Indians Canaquarioeny, being 
Reputed three Dutch Miles or twelve English Miles; 
and from the said Towne of Schenectade downe 
the River one Dutch or four English miles to a kill 
or creeke called the Ael Place, and from the said 
Maques River into the woods South Towards 
Altiany to the Sandkill one Dutch Mile and as 
much on the other side of the River North, being 
one Dutch mile more, there being Excepted in the 
said Bounds all Come and Sawmills, that now are 
or hereafter shall be erected Within the Bounds of 
the said Towne, that they be !3able to pay a perti- 
cular Quitt Rent for their Priviledges, besides what 
is herein sett forth, as shall hereafter be agreed for 
by the Inhabitants of the said Places, or owners of 
such Mills, with such Govemour, or Govcmours as 
shall be Appointed by his Royall Highness; and 
likewise that noe Timber or Wood be Cutt but 
within the Bounds aforesaid, the said Excepcon 
being agreed upon by Mj-selfc as by a Certaine 
Writeing bearing date the 7th day of August last 
Past, doth more perticularly Appeare: 

Now know Yee that by virtu of the Comicon and 
Authority to me Given; by his Royail Highnesse 
James Duke of Vorke and Albany, Ix»rd Proprietor 
of this Province.! have hereby Given, Granted, Rati- 
fyed and Confirmed and by these Presents doe 
Give, Grant, Ratify and confirmc, unto William 
Teller, Ryert Schermerhom, Sweer Teunessen, 
Jan Van Epps and Myndert Wemp on the Behalfe 


of the Inhabitants of the Towne of Schenectade 
and Places Adjacent aforesaid, Dependencyes 
thereon, there Associates, Heires, Successors and 
Assigns, all and Singular the before recited Tract 
and Tracts, Parcell and Parcells of Land, Meadow, 
Ground and Premises with their and every of their 
Appurtenancyes, together with all and Singular the 
Houses, Buildings, Messuages, Tenements, Heri- 
ditaments. Dams, Rivers, Runnes, Streames, Ponds, 
Woods, Quarr}'es, Fishing, Hawking and Fowling, 
with all Priviledges, Libertyes, and Improvements 
whatsoever, to the said Lands and Premises be- 
longing, or in any wise appertaining, or accepted, 
reputed, taken or known as Part, Parcell, or Mem- 
ber thereof, with their and every of their Appurte- 
nances; Provided Alwayes that this shall not any- 
wayes make null, or void a former Grant or Pattent, 
bearing date the 30th of October last past made 
to Jacques Cornelisse of a Piece of Land lyeing 
within the Bounds heretofore mentioned of the 
Towne of Schenectade, (that is to say) the Land 
Lyeing and being betweene two Creekes, the one 
called the Stone Creeke to the Eastward, and the 
other the Plattd Creeke to the westward thereof, 
the Low Land lyeing along the River side on the 
South of the Maques River, and then to the north 
of the Land belonging to the Inhabitants of 
Schenectade, the same Containing Forty Morgen 
or Eighty acres of Land, as alsoe Forty Morgen, 
or Eighty Acres of Woodland or upland more, on 
the West side of the Platte Creeke, adjoining to 
the arrable Land along the River side, which was 
wholly exempt by the Indian Proprietors, in the 
sale of this Land, as belonging to Jacques Come- 

lisc To have arid to hold the aforesaid Tract and 

Tracts, Parcell and Parcells, of Land and Premises, 
with their and every of their Appurtenances, unto 
the said William Teller, Ryert Schermerhorne, 
Sweer Teunessen, Jan Van Epps and Myndart 
Wemp on the behalfe of the Inhabitants of the 
Towne of Schenectade and their Associates, their 
Heires, Successors and Assignes, unto the propper 
use and behoofe of the said William Teller, Ryert 
Schermerhorne, Sweer Teunessen, Jan Van Eps and 
Myndart Wemp, their Heires, Successors, and 
.V^ignes forever, to be hoi den of his Royal 1 High- 
nesse, his Heires and Assignes in ffree and Comon 
Soccage, According to the tenure of East Green- 
wich, in the County of Kent, in his Ma*'** King- 
dome of England, Yielding and Pa}'ing therefor, 
Yearly and every Yeare, as a Quitt rent, for bis 
Royall Highnesse use, unto such officer or Officers 
as shall be appointed to receive the same att Albany 
forty Bushels of Good Winter Wheat, on or before 
the twenty-fifth day of March. 

Given under my Hand and Sealed with the 
Scale of the Province, at ffort Jftmes in New York, 
the first day of November Anno Dni 1684, and in 
the thirty-six Yeare of his ma*'~ Raigne. 

Tho. Dongan. 

The importance of this grant will appear from the 
fact that it is the source of all legal titles to lands 
embraced within 128 square miles of territory given 
subsequently to the first day of November, 1684. 

The five trustees therein named, or their sur- 
vivors and successors lawfully appointed, there- 
after became the grantees of all the public or com- 
mon lands of the town. Previous to this date all 
lawful conveyances were in the first instance made 
by the Governor and Council. 

Of the ^\t original trustees, Myndert Wemp, 
Jan Van Eps, and Sweer Teunise Van Velsen were 
killed February 9, 169^, leaving only ReyerScher- 
merhorn and Willem Teller, survivors. The latter, 
then an aged man residing in Albany, took but 
little active interest in the management of the pat- 
ent. In 1692 he removed to New York, where he 
died in 1700, from which time until the confirma- 
tory patent of 17 14 Reyer Schermerhom was sole 

By the destruction of the village in 1690 and 
subsequent wars with the French and their Indian 
allies, the inhabitants of Schenectady had lost all 
but their lands; in consequence of which Scher- 
merhom petitioned the Governor in 1698 for an 
abatement of the quit rent due — forty bushels of 
wheat yearly — ^according to the patent of 1684, but 
his request was not granted. 

Making due allowance for water, there were 
about 80,000 acres of land in the patent of Sche- 
nectady — all under the charge and management 
of one trustee, save the few farms which had been 
heretofore granted. This one-man power was dis- 
tasteful to the people, and it was urged against 
Schermerhom that he disposed of the lands be- 
longing to the village, without rendering any ac- 
count of the same; they therefore petitioned for an 
enlargement of their privileges by a new charter 
which should give them power of choosing five 
trustees to hold office three years, who should ac- 
count to their successors for the management of 
their trust. 

As it had been charged that the first patent 
granted the lands to the patentees therein named, 
and to their heirSy successors and assigns^ the sec- 
ond patent, given February 17, 1703, in response 
to their petition (after reciting the Dongan patent), 
conveyed the lands therein mentioned to Colonel 
Pieter Schuyler, John Sanderse Glenn, Adam Vroo- 
man and John Wemp, jointly or severally to be 
trustees for managing the trust and estate afore- 
said, together with the said Ryer Schermerhom or 
by themselves. Schermerhom paid no regard to 
the new charter, nor to his fellow trustees, but still 
continued to act as sole * ' trustee for the town in 
receiving the rents, issues and profits thereof, and 
in prosecuting suits of law in his own name only, 
without giving any account thereof." 


All this too in spite of suspension from his office 
by the Governor. The secret of this stybbom per- 
sistence in the duties of his trusteeship was doubt- 
less the fact that the first patent of 1684 was still 
binding, notwithstanding the granting of a second, 
and also to the further fact that in Schermerhom, 
as the sole survivor of the trustees therein men- 
tioned, was vested all the authority and power origi- 
nally granted to said five trustees. 

The fee of the land was in him, his ' * heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns," and could only be alienated 
by death or release in due form. In consequence 
thereof, Colonel PeterSchuyler and Johannes Glen, 
two of the new trustees, petitioned the Governor 
for an amended charter, and were followed by the 
citizens asking for 2i yearly election of trustees and 
a more strict accountability to the people; where- 
upon the Governor granted their request in the 
charter of April 16, 1705, from which, after recit- 
ing both the former charters of 1 684 and 1 703, 
Schermerhom's name as trustee is omitted. 

Accompan}nng the petition was a list of lands 
sold and leases taken by Ryer Schermerhorn, for 
which he is said to have given no account to the 

** A list of y* Lands and Income of the towne- 
ship of Schonhectady, viz: 

Jacobus Peek, agreedt for his land. 

Esias Swart, his land. 

Jan Brouwer, his lands. 

Phillip Groot, his land of y* Sixt plains [sixth 
flat], Phillip Groot has also y'fyft plains [fifth fiat] 
in hiere. 

Cornelis Slingerland, hows lott boght 

Johannes Myndertse, hows loot boght. 

Claese Franse [van de Bpgart], oplandt boght 

S}Tnon Groot, oplandt bought 

Jonathan Stevens, oplandt bought and some 

hendrik brower, opland bought 

Jell is Vonda, oplandt bought 

Jacobus peek, landt upon Earequiet of Erfi)aght 
[quit rent]. 

Jan Landertse, Earequiet [quit rent]. 

Lewies Vieli^, his Landt for v* fourth shalf of4th 
Garf [the fourth sheaf). 

Lewis Viele the Groet of his former landt and 
some cattell and hoggs. 

Arent Vedder, Earequiet [quit rent]. 

Claes franse [van de BogartJ, Earequiet 

Carel Hanse [Toll], Earequiet 

Ryer Schermerhorn, Earequiet 

Tam Smith, Earequiet 

Martje Mastkraft, Earequiet 

These lands are given out If any more wee 
cannott tell, nor what day Give. 

These foiling man [men] had last Jeare trans- 
ports [deeds] for Great Rewards [of great value?] 
pretending for the town Juse. 

Barent Wemp, Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel], 
Isack Swits, Jan Luycasse, Jan Vrooman, Jan 
batist [Van Eps], and others. 

What )•• above mentioned persons paj's Jearely 
wee cannot tell by reason wee nifer had none of 
y* peapers, nor conditions. 

On the 25th of May, 1714, Schermerhorn ap- 
peared before the Governor and Council, *'and 
after a full hearing of all matters" against him, 
was suspended from ** acting further as Trustee of 
the said Towne. " But as he continued obstinate, 
disregarding the demand of the new Trustees for 
an accounting to them of his official acts, they 
commenced a suit against him in the Court of 
Chancery; Schermerhorn and his friends instituting 
counter-suits in the same court 

Of the several suits at law heretofore or subse- 
quently commenced by the contending parties 
down to the death, in 1795, of the second Ryer 
Schermerhorn, grandson of the first, a period of 
nearly one hunderd years, no one was ever de- 

Tired and despairing of relief from litigation, the 
contestants resorted to negotiation and compro- 
mise, and failing of this as they always did, they 
reverted to the Colonial legislature for redress, but 
all in vain. The first serious effort at compromise 
was probably made in 1 708, when a futile attempt 
was made to induce Schermerhorn to transfer his 
title to the township to the then trustees elected 
under the charter of 1705. 

Failing in this attempt at compromise, the same 
trustees on June 3, 1709, **in behalf of themselves 
and other the trustees and inhabitants of Schenec- 
tady," presented a petition to the Colonial Assem- 
bly to *'bringina bill confirming unto said in- 
habitants the Powers, etc., mentioned in Letters 
Patent granted to said town. " On June 4th said 
bill was presented, on the 7th it was read a second 
time, referred to a committee with power to send 
for persons and papers and never more heard of. 

The next step in this controversy was a power of 
attorney executed by the opponents of Schermer- 
horn and his party, to the then trustees elected 
under the charter of 1705, to demand of Ryer 
Schermerhorn, Barent Wemp, Johannes Teller, 
Johannes Wemp and Arent Bratt the books, deeds, 
bonds, etc., belonging to the town. 

The strife and contention in respect to the man- 
agement of the *' common lands" of the township 
were put to rest for a time by Schermerhorn, in 
1 7 14. By lease and release, dated respectively 
Oct 2 2d and 23d, he conveyed all his right and 
title to these lands to Willem Appel, innkeeper, of 



the city of New York. In this conveyance, after 
reciting the Dongan Patent of 1684, the fact that 
all the trustees therein named were deceased save 
Ryer Schermerhorn, **only survivor whereby all 
the estate, right and title of, in or to all said lands 

* ♦ not otherwise legally disposed are became 
solely vested in the said Ryert Schermerhorn in 
fee simple by right of survivorship, and that said 
Schermerhorn growing antient is desirous that said 

* * lands and premises should be conveyed to 
others together with himself and their heirs that 
the intent of the said Letters Patent may be duly 
observed," said Schermerhorn released and con- 
firmed to Willem Appel and his heirs, all the 
aforesaid lands in ** Special trust and confidence 
that he the said Willem Appel or his heirs will 
upon request to him made by the said Ryert Scher- 
merhorn his heirs or assigns shall * * execute 
such conveyance and assurance in the law for tlie 
vesting of all the hereinbefore mentioned * * 
lands * * and all ihe right, title and interest 
thereunto hereby conveyed or mentioned or in- 
tended to be conveyed to the said Willem Appel, 
unto the said Ryert Schermerhorn, Jan Wemp, 
Johannes Teller, Arent Bratt and Barent Wemp 

* ♦ their heirs and assigns forever, to the in- 
tent the same may be held and enjoyed according 
to the true intent and meaning of the said Letters 
Patent by the said Thomas Dongan. " 

On the 25th and 26th of October, said Appel by 
lease and release reconveyed said land to Ryer 
Schermerhorn and his said four associates for the 
purposes above mentioned. 

And to confirm the above conveyance, the fourth 
and last patent was granted by Governor Hunter 
on the 14th November, 1714. 

When New York at the close of the Revolution 
ceased to be a province of the British empire, many 
laws and legal customs of the mother country be- 
came obsolete, among which was the law of primo- 
geniture. Up to this time Ryer Schermerhorn 
and his friends, acting under said law, had 
claimed that the common lands belonged of right 
to the eldest sons and heirs of the first settlers, or 
to their assigns, only from twenty-five to thirty of 
whom were then living in the township. But with 
the change of the laws, the number of the claim- 
ants to the common lands was greatly increased. 
In 1 797 there were nearly 500 families in the town- 
ship, descendants from the first settlers, who 
claimed in right of law that these lands belonged 
to them or their assigns and not to those inter- 
lopers, who had become citizens long subsequent 
to their forefathers. 

And, as a recognition of rights, they claimed that 
these lands should be leased to them on durable 
leases, and at a nominal rent of fi'om 50 cents to 
$7.50 per 100 acres. 

These claims and demands of the " descendants " 
exasperated the other and later settlers, and led to 
protests and petitions, to the appointment of com- 
mittees of conference, to consultations with legal 
authorities and to various reports and plans of 

One of the most elaborate and well-digested 
plans for the management of the common lands 
was that of 1793, offered by a committee ap- 
pointed at a town meeting, held October i, 1792, 
a ** respectable number of the inhabitants being 
present. " 

This committee consisted of John Van Petten, 
John Glen, Andrew Van Patten, John Sanders, 
Albert A. Vedder and Abraham Oothout, and 
made their report January 28, 1793. 

Their recommendations were never carried into 
effect. In 1795 ^^ ^^^ Board of Trustees, ap- 
pointed under Arent Bratt s will, had been in 
power thirty years, many had passed away, the 
others had become aged, and it seemed proper and 
desirable that new blood should be infused into 
this body; therefore, on the 13th January, 1795, 
the following persons then seized in fee of the com- 
mon lands, * ' as surviving trustees of the town in 
virtue of the Patent, 1714, and certain mesne 
conveyances and devises," to wit: Abraham Fonda, 
Harmanus Bratt, Isaac Vrooman, Nicholas Van 
Petten, Nicholaas Van der Volgen, Jacobus M}n- 
dertse, Samuel Bradt and Abraham Wemple, asso- 
ciated with themselves, as trustees, Nicholaas Vee- 
der, Gerret S. Veeder, Jr., Abraham Oothout, 
John Sanders and John Glen, by conveying said 
Patent to Michael Tyms, who reconveyed the same 
to the above named persons as trustees. And, on 
the 15th day of March, 1796, certain of the above 
said trustees by reason of age resigned their trust, 
and a new board was appointed in their room; to 
accomplish which the trustees then in power con- 
veyed the Patent to Joseph Mynderse, and he re- 
conveyed the same to Abraham Wemple, Nicholaas 
Veeder, Gerrit S. Veeder, Jr., John Glen, John 
Sanders, Abraham Oothout, Abraham Swits, An- 
dries Van Petton, Jellis J. Fonda, Rykert Scher- 
merhorn and Adam S. Vrooman as new trustees, 
who executed a bond in the penal sum of ;f 5,000 
to the retiring trustees for the faithful performance 
of the duties of their office. These last mentioned 
trustees held and managed the common lands until 
1 798, when their powers ceased, being merged by 



the first charter of the city of Schenectady in the 
mayor, aldermen and commonalty. 

In furtherance of a compromise or settlement of 
the disputes in relation to the public lands, the in- 
habitants appointed a committee in 1795 to take 
legal counsel on the subject This committee 
consisted of Andries Van Petten, Jelles Fonda and 
Maus Schermerhorn. 

In accordance with the opinion obtained by the 
committee, the Board of Trustees recommended to 
the committee of the inhabitants to obtain a 
"proper power from said Inhabitants to transact 
the business of the town in a more perfect man- 
ner," which being done, the trustees appointed out 
of their number Abraham Swits, Jellis J. Fonda, 
Andries Van Petten, Adam S. Vrooman, Rykert 
Schermerhorn and Maus Schermerhorn, to act in 
connection with the committee of the inhabitants 
in '* bringing tlie business of the common lands to 
a speedy settlement" And on the loth of August 
(1795) this committee reported to the trustees that 
"there was a great prospect of a reconciliation of 
all disputes subsisting between the Inhabitants and 
Trustees," and asking for further time. 

The acts and minutes of the Board of Trustees, 
from time to time, show quite clearly that they 
considered the common lands to belong to the 
descendants of those who were inhabitants of the 
township in 1684, the date of the Dongan Patent, 
or at least in 1714, the date of the confirmation of 
the same. 

The other inhabitants were incensed that they 
had no voice in the disposal of these lands, and, on 
the loth April, 1797, sent a petition to the Trustees 
that a committee from their number might be 
heard on this subject This was signed by " Jno. 
Bpt Wendell, Jacob Beekman, Joseph Shurtliff, 
Jno. Bpt Van Eps, David Tomlinson, Jno. B. 
Vrooman, Alexander Kelly, Thomas V. Horn, 
Charles Martin." 

On the other hand, on the 24th of the same 
month, a committee of the * ' Descendants ' made 
and published the following reports : 

The committee of the Descendents or legal 
Representatives of the Persons who were inhabi- 
tants of the Township of Schenectady in the year 
1684, being the time when the Patent of said 
township was granted, or the year 1714, when the 
above Patent was confirmed: 

Report that they have examined the state of the 
Business belonging to the Trustees of Schenectady 
Patent, and find that they have sold 8,097 Acres of 
land, being part of said Patent, engaged 94 li acres 
of land to different persons, and 600 acres of land 
applied for; that it appears, from the accounts ren- 
dered, that there is the sum of ;f 10,593 for Union 

G>Il^;e, Market House and other requisites ex- 
pended, and a balance, consisting of obligations to 
the amount of ;^4i 680-6-5, remaining in their 
hands. The Committee report that in their opin- 
ion five trustees, who shall have arrived at the age 
of twenty-five years, firom among the descendants, 
should be elected annually by the male descend- 
ants, who are arrived at the age of twenty-one 
years, on the second Tuesday of June of every 
year, whose duty it shall be to render an account 
yearly and every year of their proceedings to their 
successors in office, or to any of the descendants 
who shall wish to have access and examine the 
same; and to have the deposit, care, trust and 
management of the Patent, lands, Books, Papers, 
Monies, Accounts, and other things belonging to 
the Trustees; and that the Trustees, when elected, 
or before they enter on the execution of their office, 
shall severally take and subscribe an oath before 
some justice of the peace, in the town of Sche- 
nectady, that they will well and faithfully perform 
the trust reposed in them. * * * The com- 
mittee state that there are nearly ^\t hundred of 
the descendants' families residing on . said patent, 
and, from a calculation, about forty thousand acres 
of land unappropriated. 

Therefore, Resolved, as the sense of the Com- 
mittee * * * that it be recommended to the 
Trustees to lease the lands * * * for a dur- 
able term to the descendants, or their legal Repre- 
sentatives, for a sum not exceeding three pounds, 
nor less than fifty cents, annually per hundred 
acres, regarding to ever)' descendant's family, or 
legal Representative, a proportion agreeable to 
equity, quality and local circumstances. 

Given under our hands the t>*'enty-fourth day of 
April, 1797. 

John Yates, 
Peter Mabes, 
Lawrence Schermerhorn, 
Abraham De Graff, 
Henry A. Teller, 
Jelles A. Fonda. 

On the 9th September, 1797, the Board of 
Trustees appointed a committee to consult Abra- 
ham Van Vechten, Peter Yates and Joseph C. 
Yates in relation to a plan of "settlement with the 
inhabitants concerning the Common lands.'' 

Finally, on March 26, 1 798, an act was passed 
by the Legislature, with the assent and desire, not 
only of the other inhabitants of the township of 
Schenectady, but also of the surviving trustees, by 
which all their powers and duties in relation to the 
common lands were conferred upon the Mayor, 
Aldermen and Commonalty of Schenectady. And 
to adjust all claims against said trustees, the Legis- 
lature passed an act the same day appointing a 
commission, consisting of Zephaniah Piatt, Peter 
Cantine and Derick Lane, who finally determined 
said claims, and closed their accounts on the loth 
August, 1798. 



Even after this final transfer of the common 
lands to the corporation, there was a party who 
doubted its legality, contending for the resump- 
tion and management of them by the old trustees, 
then surviving. 

Others, while reluctantly acquiescing in the 
transfer of these lands to the city authorities, ob- 
jected to their being sold off as fast as the inhab- 

itants demanded, and contended they should be 
held for the purpose of supplying the citizens with 
fuel and timber. Finally, in 1810 (?), the elec- 
tion of aldermen turned on this question; the 
whole city, then bounded by the ancient limits of 
the patent, was canvassed by active partisans of both 
parlies, and after a close and heated contest it was 
decided that the common lands should be sold. 



Four different allotments were made to each of 
the first settlers: First, a house lot in the village; 
second, a farm on the Great Flat, or islands; third, 
a pasture ground east of the village; and fourth, a 
garden lot in the low land (laeghte), west of Mill 
Creek and near the Binne kil. 

First. House Lois. — The village plat, originally 
embracing mainly the land lying west of Ferry 
street, was divided into four blocks, or squares, 
which were again subdivided into ample house lots. 
For protection, Ihis plat was early surrounded by 
stockades. As the population outgrew these nar- 

row limits, house lots were assigned on the "Al- 
bany path " (now Stale street), so that, before 1690, 
it was sparsely built up as far east as Lange gang 
(Center street), and until about 1700 only the 
north side was occupied by houses. Front, Green 
and Union streets, east of Ferry street, used for 
cow paths to the pastures and woodlands, were not 
then built upon. The little church and graveyard 
stood at the junction of State, Church and Water 
streets, and the Dominie's house upon the site of 
the present church. Many of the original village 
lots were about zoo feet square — four to a block or 
square, but were early subdivided to meet the de- 
mands for residences within the stockades. 

Second. The Boiavland. — ^The great tract of flat 
or bottom land, bounded twrtherly by the river and 
State street, southerly by the sand bluff, easterly 



r . 





by Center street extended south, and westerly by 
the hills west of the first lock on the canal, em- 
bracing several hundred acres of arable land, was 
anciently called the Grooie Vlachte, 

It was mainly cleared land when the white man 
first occupied it in 1662, and had been the Mo- 
hawks' maize land perhaps for centuries. This 
and other parcels of like soil along the Mohawk 
formed the main inducement for the Hollanders to 
settle here; in them they recognized the Polders of 
fatherland. The bouwland was originally divided 
into twenty-three separate parcels and assigned to 
fifteen individuals, no one, with one exception, 
holding more than fifty acres. 

The farm nearest the village, embracing twenty- 
four acres, was Van Velsen's, bounded by State 
street, Coehom and Mill Creeks, as far west as or 
near to Church street. This, together with the 
water privilege, was granted in consideration of his 
building a grist-mill on Mill lane. 

The second parcel, consisting of about forty acres 
of bottom land, anciently called ** Gerrit 
Symonse's meadow," commenced at or near the 
Coehom kil, at the south bounds of Van Velsen's 
land, and extended southerly to and including 
** Veeder's Mills." This parcel has been preserved 
nearly entire, and is mostly in the ownership and 
occupation of the Veeder family at the present 

The third, the largest and t!?6st Valuable farm, 
embracing 114 acres, was Arent Van Curler's, 
called the first piece of land, and after his death, 
Juffnnvs landL This was bounded northerly by 
the Binne kil, easterly by Van Velsen's farm j(c3s^ 
cepting a few gardens on the south side of Water 
street), southerly by ** Gerrit Symonse's meadow" 
and by the sand bluff or hills as far as the 
Schermerhom Mills, and westerly by farms 
Nos. I and 4, owned by Arent Bradt and 
Pieter Van Woggelum. The New York Central 
Railroad runs through the southern end of this 
valuable tract, and the canal nearly through the 
middle of it. 

The fourth large parcel of the bouwland, called 
the second or foremost piece of land, to distinguish 
it from Van Curler's, which was called iht first piece, 
lay next west. The east line of this tract ran along 
the west fence of the Schenectady car works yard, 
and so northerly to and around the east side of lot 
No. I, belonging to Arent Bratt, following the 
small brook emptying into the Binne kil, a litde 
east of the farm buildings of the late John Myers* 
The western line of this parcel was the Poenties kil 
and lot No. 10, belonging m. Tunis Cornelise 

Swart This second piece was divided into ten 
farms, including De Winter's or Eliass Plantasie, 
by northeast and southwest lines from the river 
to the sand bluff, and by easterly and westerly 
lines nearly coinciding with the river road and 

The fifth parcel of bouwlands, called the hinder- 
most piece of land, commenced at the Poenties Kil 
and extended west to the hills near the first lock, 
and was divided into ten farms by northeasterly 
and southwesterly lines from the river to the hills, 
and by easterly and westerly lines nearly coinciding 
with the canal and river road. 

The second and hindmost great lots of the bouw- 
lands, including Elias's Plantasie, were subdivided 
each into ten parcels of about twenty-five acres, 
numbered from i to 10, beginning at the eastern 
and western extremities of these two parcels, and 
proceeding toward the Poenties Kilj on the west 
side of which lay the two farms numbered ten, 
united into one. So that persons to whom were 
alloted numbers i, 2, 3, &c., of the second ne2LT the 
village, drew also numbers i, 2, 3, &c., of the 
hindmost parcel at the western extremity of the 
bouwland, and only one person had all of his land 
in one place, to wit, Teunis Cornelise Swart, the 
fortunate holder of the double farm numbered ten. 
This ingenious plan of allotment was contrived to 
prevent any one person obtaining an undue advan- 
tage over his associates by selecting all his land 
near the village. 

Two other parcels of arable land, separated from 
the Great Flat by the river, were also assigned at an 
early day, viz., Marten's or Van Slyck's island, com- 
prising 82 acres, patented to Jaques Cornelise Van 
Slyck and Jan Barentse Wemp ; and the flat 
lying west and south of the lake in Scotia, 
granted to Sander Leendertse Glen, estimated at 
50 acres. 

Finally, on the eastern side of the village, be- 
tween Front street and the river, was a strip of land 
called the Caher Wey, which was allotted to the 
first settlers in parcels of 2\ morgens, the 
easternmost lot being that of Jellis Fonda. Ad- 
joining Fonda's lot easterly was Hans Janse 
Eenkluy's bouwery of 18 morgens, which, on 
his death, became the property of the Dutch 
Church — a legacy for the benefit of the poor ol 

All lands lying outside of the palisades easterly 
of Ferry street, save the house lots on the north side 
of State street as far as Center street, were originally 
allotted to individuals in parcels of a few acres as' 
woodland or pasture ground. 



svr: J ^/- . V •; 


>v X 



- > 



Both farms numbered one were patented to 
Catelyn De Vos, widow of Arent Bratt, the Norman^ 
June 2, 1682. 

15 Aug., 1705. Former deeds being lost in 
1690, Ryer Schermerhom, only surviving trustee, 
gave a new deed to Arent Bratt, grandson and 
heir of Arent Andriese Bratt, for xhe first lot thirty- 
six acres and aftermost lot thirty acres. 

27 Aug., 1713, Ryer Schcrmerhorn and Dirk 
Bratt conveyed to Samuel Bratt the hindermost farm 
No. I, containing fifteen morgens and 467 rods. 


Were first owned by Philip Hendrickse Brouwer. 

April 29, 1664, his administrators sold them to 
Comelis Van Ness for Jan Dirkse Van Eps, son of 
Maritie Damen, his wife, for the sum of 1,287 

Feb. 4, 1 71 J, Johannes Baptist Van Eps, eldest 
son and heir of Jan Dirkse Van Eps, deceased, 
conveyed to Arent Bratt the hindmost farm. No. 2, 
comprising twelve morgens. 


Were first granted to Sander Leendertse Glen, by 
Patent of date June 16, 1664. 

Johannes Glen, by will, devised the remainder 
of hindmost farm, 26th September, 1706, to his 
younger brother Sander, comprising about twenty 

On the 4th June, 1711, Claas Van Patten con- 
veyed to his son, Andries, the foremost lot 

Feb. 24, and Aug. 11, 1714. To rectify a dis- 
puted line, R. Schermerhom and Andries Van Pet- 
ten make a final settlement. 


Were granted to Pieter Adrianse Soegemakelyk, 
alias Yzxi Woggelum, June 5, 1667, the first con- 
taining fourteen morgens, and the second twelve 

Ap. 6, 1681, Van Woggelum reconveyed the 
same to Reyer Schermerhom, who had married 
Otten's widow. 

June 29, 1667, Govemor Nicolls confirmed to 
Willem Teller the two farms, No. 5, which were 
first patented to him by Govemor Stuyvesant, June 
16, 1664. 

Ap. 9, 1752, Willem Teller, son of Johannes, 
devised the foremost hrm on the Poenties Kit io 
his son Willem, and the second or hindmost farm to 
his eldest son Johannes. 

Gerrit Bancker, of Albany, received the patent 
for these farms No. 6, June 16, 1664, which patent 
was confirmed Ap. 27, 1667, by Governor Nicolls. 

Although granted to Gerrit Bancker, Harman 
Albertse Vedder had a half interest in these farms 
from the beginning. 

Evert, son and heir of Gerrit Bancker, sold the 
foremost lot to Isaac Swits, July 7, 1702, for ^183 
125./ — it contained 22 acres. 

Isaac Swits made his will Ap. i, 1701, — proved 
Oct 4, 1707, — and devised a portion of the first 
farm to his eldest son Comelis. 

The hindmost farm belonging to Harmen Vedder; 
he conveyed the southeasterly half to his son Albert, 
Mar. 12, 170^, for the sum of /*9i 165. This 
moiety then contained ten acres. 

Pieter Jacobse Bosboom de Steenbakker received 
a patent of farms No. 7, June 16, 1664, — confirmed 
May 9, 1668. 

In 1 702 the foremost lot belonged to Gysbert 
Gerritse Van Brakel. 

Marten Comelise Van Isselsteyn received a 
patent for farms No. 8, June 16, 1664, — confirmed 
by Govemor Nicolls, April 13, 1668. 


Were first conveyed to Simon Volckertse Veeder, 
de bakker, by patent of date June i6th, 1664, — 
confirmed Jan. 15, 1667, by patent from Governor 

Veeder made his will Jan. 8, 169!}^, bequeathing 
the hindmost farm to his son Volckert 

Volckert Veeder made his will Aug. 4, 1733, 
and left the hindmost lot to his four sons. 

The double bouwery No. 10, was first patented 
to Teunis G>melise Swart, June 16, 1664, and con- 
firmed Jan, 16, 1667. 

26th April, 1692. Wouter Uythoff (third 
husband of Elizabeth), Swart, widow of Teunis, 
and said Elizabeth his wife, for 540 beavers con- 
veyed the whole bouwery No. 10, to Claas Lau- 
rense Van Purmerend (alias Van der Volgen). 

The land in the immediate vicinity of the village, 
— the Great Flat and island, — were all taken up in 
1662 by the fifteen first proprietors. Other per- 
sons followed the next and succeeding years, and 
finding no lands unoccupied, either bought up the 
rights of the earlier owners or pushed further into' 
the wildemess, on both sides of the Mohawk river. 

The south side was considered the safest from 
Indian attacks, and for that reason the Governor 
and Council at first discouraged settlements on the 
north side; this was but a temporary check, how- 
ever. Before the year 1 700 all the arable land on 
both sides of the river to and even beyond the 
western bounds of the town was taken up and 
sparsely settled. 

These lands had a rich alluvial soil, formed by 
the annual overflow of the river, and were mainly 
found in the bends and eddys; excepting the Great 
Flat they were generally small, comprising but a 
few acres. 



Going west this is the firs,t arable land lying on 
the south side of the river above the Great Flat 
It commenced at the road mnning west from the 
first lock and extended up the river to the '* stone 
kil," a dry creek next above the second lock. It 
was first purchased from the natives by Benjamin 
Roberts, who sold the same to Hendrick Lam- -^ 
bertse Bont. The latter sold the easterly portion 
to Barent Janse Van Ditmars and the westerly por- 
tion to Douwe Aukes, who conveyed the same to 



^-^his [adopted] son Comelis VieU>. In 1713 Viel^ 
was then residing on this land between the two 


This flat or plain, consisting of about 80 acres of 
lowlands, is described in Jacques Comelise Van 
Slyck's patent, granted in 1684, as '* situated be- 
tween two creeks, one called Stone creek, to the 
eastward, the other * Platte creek, ' to the westward, 
come to him in right of his mother, who was a 
Mohawk woman." 

It has remained in the family to this day, passing 
from &ther to son by inheritance. 

The eastern part of this flat, called *' Hazlenut 
flat," was owned by Manasseh Sixbury, in 1709 ; 
he then made his will, leaving his property to his 
four children. 


This farm, beginning at a little above '* Reghel 
js^ brugse kt'l" was first taken up by Jacobus Peek and 
- Isaac Da Trieux, about 1670, and patented to 
them in 1677. 

Johannes and Jacobus, sons of Jacobus Peek, 
became the owners of the whole tract. It is now- 
owned by John McCue on the west end, Abraham 
A. Bratt on the east end. 


This flat lies about eight miles above Schenecta- 
dy, and consisted anciently of about 127 acres of 
lowland ; in 1864 it was computed at thirty mor- 
gens, or say sixty-three acres, and was then occu- 
pied — the upper or westerly part by Simon and 
-- Nicholas Mebie and Abraham N. Bratt, the lower 
or eastern portion by the Bratts. 

It was taken up by Daniel Jansc Van Antwerpcn 
in 1670, and patented to him in 1680. 

In 1706 he sold to Jan Pieterse Mebie the west 
half of the same, consisting of sixty-three acres and 
seventy-nine rods. The old Van Antwerp house 
was standing to the west of the Mebie house until 
a few years ago. 


The Fourth Flat, lying next west of the third, 
was granted in 171 5, by the trustees of Schenec- 
tady, to Pieter Vrooman, who, in 1742, conveyed 
the same, or at least the western portion of it, to 
^ Jan Wemple and Arent Bratt Johannes Veeder 
married a daughter of Pieter Vrooman, and inher- 
ited the eastern portion, now in possession of M\ti- 
dert, grandson of said Johannes Veeder. 

Jan Wemple's land extended to the Zandig kt'l. 


This flat commenced at Stone creek, below Port 
Jackson, and ran down the river thirty-four rods 
[4,188 feet], and contained thirty-three morgens, 
or sixty-six acres, 390 rods — also 200 acres of wood- 

It was first granted to Pieter Van Olinda and 
Claas Willemse Van Coppemol ; Van Olinda hold- 
ing the eastern half and Van Coppernol the west- 
em half, which he conveyed to Philip Philiipse in 
1689 in exchange for the Sixth Hat, on the north 
side of the river. 


CLAAS craven's HOEK. 

The first land settled upon west of Scotia was the 
Hoek, This farm was taken up by Claas Andriese 
De Graaf, the first settler. After his death, which 
took place before 1697, his widow, Elizabeth Brou- 
wer, leased it to Jonathan Stevens and Daniel Mas- 

In 1 714 Gysbert Marcelis received a patent for 
six acres of land on the Hoek for a hq/sfede, he 
being then the owner of the neighboring island, 
called Gyse's island. 


Benjamin, or Bent, Roberts first purchased this 
farm of the natives, with the approbation of the 
magistrates of Albany — thirty-six acres of land, 
together with forty acres of woodland, which was 
confirmed to him July i, 1669. 

This bouwer}' lay opj)osite to Arent [Bratt] the 
Norman's hindmosl lot of land. The farm is in the 
possession and occupation of a descendant of Carel 

SECOND flat. 

The flat extends from Rector's easterly, and in 
1 864 was owned by Gerrit Barhydt, 1 7 acres ; 
F'ranlfPotter, 40 acres ; D. D. Campbell, 30 acres. 
Total, with upland. 87 acres. 

This Second Flat proper was originally taken 
up about 1678 — the eastern half by Pieter Come- 
lise Viele, and the western half by Jan Janse 
Joncker, alias Rotterdam. 

Reyer Schermerhom, by will made 171 7, devised 
this land to his son Arent ; and Reyer Schermer- 
hom, grandson of Reyer Schermerhom the first, 
in 1 773, released said land to Abraham Schermer- 

After Joncker's death his share of this flat, being 
the westem half, was divided among his five 

fourth flat. 

This flat extends westerly from Rector's to 
"Arent Mebie's kil," and was owned in 1864 by 
William Rector, 40 acres : Smith B. Walton, 3 
acres ; Adam Swart, 7 acres ; Nicholas Swart, 7 
acres ; John Walton, 5 J acres. Total, with up- 
land, 62^ acres. 

In 1678 Sander Glen petitioned the Govemor to 
grant the fourth flat to I^wis Cobes and his son-in- 
law, Johannes Kleyn. 

In 1683 the Mohawk Sakcmakcrs conveyed this 
flat to Arnout Comelise Viele, — 16 or 17 morgens 
— for services rendered as interpreter, — lying over 
against the [second] flat occupied by Jacobus 
Peek, — and bv the Mohawks called Wachkeer- 

In 1684 the patentees of Schenectady conveyed 
it to Ludovicus Cobes and Johannes Kleyn, wiih a 
lapie (remnant — a gore), by it, on the other [north] 
side of the river, containing 17 morgens, 164 rods 
of land. 

In 1 714 Willem Marinus, who had married 
Baefie, youngest daughter of said Kleyn, united 
with his wife and conveyed her third share of three 
morgens to Pieter Clement and Anna his wife 



• / 

(sister of said Baefie), and in 1716 said Pieter 
Clement conveved to the trustees of Schenectady 
six morgens of land at the west end of said fiat 

In 1725 Col. Stephanus Groesbeck owned the 
western portion of this flat, which '' hindtnosi\i'a\V* 
was the portion owned by Kleyn, and contained 
nine morgens. 


Hiis flat, extending from ' ' Arent Mebie's kil " 
west, is now in the possession and occupation of 
John Barhydt, and consists of about 85 acres of 

In 1678 **thecomissairiesof Schanechtademade 
application to y* Go : that the fifth Plaine or Flat- 
land on the other [north] side of the Maquaes 
river may be disposed of for a minister, reader, &c., 
— and also that the rest of the Plains or Flatts may 
be at the disposal! of the Cort.'* 

Jasaias Swart succeeded them as lessee, probably 
for another term of seven years, and in 1713 his 
lease was renewed for twenty years at a rent oi £(i- 

In 1768 Pieter Mebie by will devised his land, be- 
ing the whole of the fifth flat, to Jan Mebie, his son, 
who, in 1 789, devised the same to his widow and 
two sons, Pieter and Simon, and ihey, in 1799, 
conveyed the same to David Lawyer, Jr. 

The latter sold the same to John S. Barhydt, 
from whom it passed by inheritance to his son 


This flat begins just east of the seventh flat, from 
which it is separated by the Droyhergh, Ver/oi 
color kil, alias Tequaisera, It was owned in 1864 
by Aaron Swart 

It was first occupied by Philip Philipse De Moer, 
as a tenant of the trustees of Schenectady. In 
1689 he exchanged his ownership in the same with 
Claas Willemse Van Coppernol for a portion of the 
Willegen Vlachte^ and in 1708 Sander, his son, 
leased it for twelve years at a rent of £2 8s. It 
then consisted of five morgens, with an additional 
three morgens of woodland. 

On the 2d September, 1714, Reyer Schemerhorn 
conveyed this flat, containing about seven morgens 
or fourteen acres, also ten morgens or twenty 
acres of woodland lying behind it, to the Dutch 
church. In 1770 Esaias Swart was in possession 
of this plain, which then was computed to contain 
seven morgens. 


This flat lies near Hoflfman's ferry, between the 
Droybergh Kil on the east and Van Eps' kil on 
the west. 

In 1 684 the trustees of Schenectady conveyed the 
western half to Carel Hansen Toll, reserving a rent 
of one skipple of wheat 

Reyer Schemerhorn owned ictrt '^^astern half. 

In 1 705 Reyer Schemerhorn conveyed the east- 
ern half of this flat to his son Jan: and, by his will, 
made 1717, devised the same to the children of his 
daughter Catalyntje, wife of John Wemp. 

^"^ '733 ^^ Wemps transferred their interest 
to Johannes Van Eps, owner of the other half. 


In 1694 Gerardus Cambefort contracted to sell 
his patent to Carel Hansen Toll, land he had pre- 
viously received of the Indians. In 1703 Lord 
Cornbury granted Cambefort a patent for twenty 
acres of land, ** beginning from a place called 
Kanquaragoone [now Towereunej, the western 
bounds of the patent granted to Schenectady, run- 
ning up >yestward to limits of land formerly con- 
veyed to Henry Cuyler, deceased." Immediately 
thereafter Cambefort conveyed the same to Toll. 
This land extends along the river westward from 
Towereune to Lewis Creek. 



In 1686, **To Philip Wells, surveyor-general, 
about thirty acres of lowland and fifty of upland 
was granted, provided the said land be not already 
appropriated or disposed of." 

Philip Groot, of Schenectady, early settled on 
this land and, after his death in 1716, was suc- 
ceeded by his son Ludovicus (Lewis), who gave 
name to the creek forming the eastern bounds of 
this patent. 

Adriucha is still in possession of the Groot family 
at what is now called Crane's Village. 


This is one of the largest islands in the river, 
containing about 80 acres. It was conveyed to 
Hilletie Cornelise, sister of Jacques Cornelise Van 
Slyck, by the Mohawks, June i, 1667, and con- 
firmed by Governor Nicolls, May 8, 1668. On 
the 4th March, 1669, and again on Feb. 6, 170J, 
Hilletie and her husband, Pieter Van Olinda, con- 
veyed it to Johannes Clute, which sale was con- 
firmed by the Governor and Council, Aug. 2, 1671. 

Again, on June 25, 1707, it was transferred to 
Robert Livingston for ^^420, and lastly to said 
Livingston, August 9, 1 707, for ;f 706, together 
with 20 acres on the main land between the two 


At a conference with the Five Nations at Albany, 
19th July, 1701, they say: 

*' Brother Corlaer: — 

** Wee have a small right in the Maquase river 
att Canastagiowne, to wit, five small Islands con- 
taining about ^\\^ or six acres between Rosendael 
and Cornel is Tymes's, which wee give to Jan Bap- 
tist Van Eps and Lawrence Claese [Vander Vol- 
gen], the two Interpreters to be equally divided 
between them — John Baptist to have the upper- 
most halfe and LawTence the lowermost — and that 
in consideration, because they take much pains in 


This large island lying west of the city, and sep- 
arated therefrom by the Binne Kil, was early grant- 
ed by the Mohawks 10 Marten Cornelise Van Slyck 
alias Marten Mauri ts, a half breed, who dying in 
1662, Governor Stuyvesant gave a patent for the 
same, November 12, 1662, to his brother and heir. 



Jacques Comelise Van Slyck, and Jan Barentse 
Wemp. Stuyvesant's patent was confirmed by 
Governor Nicolls, April 13, 1667; it then con- 
tained, including another small island separated 
by a creek, 83 acres. 

A portion of the west end of the island was an- 
ciently called Jan Pappen Leghten, 


This island lies northerly of Van Slyck's island, 
from which it is separated by a rapid called 
"Knock 'em stiff.*' January 2, 1698, the justice 
of the peace (Johannes Sanderse Glen), 2indgemeen 
mannen of Schenectady, conveyed to Gysbert Ger- 
ritse [Van Brakel] an island on the north side of 
the river, called Kruysbessen (Gooseberry) island, 
lying ytesioi Spuyien duyvel [island] ; consideration, 
32 beavers at six guilders per beaver, to be paid 
within three years. 


Johannes Sanderse Glen bought this island of 
the trustees of Schenectady, together with a parcel 
of ^^ boslandt" in 170J, for ;^i6-io. 

It lies just opposite the old Glen [now Sanders] 
House in Scotia, and formerly contained several 
acres, but is now reduced to the fraction of an acre 
and quite valueless for tillage. 


This island lies at the north end of Van Slyck's 
island, and is separated from it by an arm of the 
Mohawk River, which at the ordinar}- low water is 
a mere sluggish bayou. 

It originally contained about three morgens or 
six acres. The eastern end next the Binne kil is 
called the platt, a low muddy islet of triangular 
shape, and at ordinary times scarcely separated 
from it In early times this island was claimed by 
the owners of Van Slyck's island. 

On the 9th November, 1670, Pieler Jacobse 
Bosboom received a patent **to confirm to him 
'' a small island belonging to him, which hath 
" heretofore been given ti) him by the Indians, 
*' lying in the river there next to the island of 
"Sweer Teunise and Akes Comelise [Van Slyck] 
" containing about six acres or three morgens." 


This small island lies north of Varken's island, 
from which it is separated by a bayou nearly filled 

A portion of this island was devised in 1800 by 
John Baptist Van Eps to his son John, after his 

wife's decease; another portion — an undivided sixth 
part — was conveyed in 1808 by Tobias H. Ten 
Eyck to Cornel is Vrooman. 


This island lies on the northwesterly side of Van 
Slyck's island, and contained originally fifteen or 
sixteen morgens of land. 

It was first owned by Jan De I-a Warde, who 
sold it to Joris Aertse Van der Baast 

The ho/stede of this farm was on the mainland 
opposite, adjoining the land of Claas De Graff, and 
consisted of six acres. Nicholas De Graff, who 
owned the neighboring mainland, purchased this 
island of (jysbert Marselis, wh<.) bought it June 
23» I7M. 


The situation of this island is best described in 
the patent to Simon Simonse (Jroot, of date Aug. 
9, 1694, ''to confirm to him a small island in the 

* Mohawk River within the town of Schenectady 
' possessed by him for twenty-seven years, to wit, 
' a certain small island in the Mohawk River 

* lying to the north of the Hoek^ or point of Reyer 
*Jacobsen's [Schermerhom], and the soutliward 

* of the island belonging to Joris Aertsen [now 

* Guises] , and to the westward of the island lately 

* belonging to Sweer Teunise, deceased — contain- 

* ing five morgens or ten acres. " 

Philip Livingston, of Albany, afterwards became 
its owner and sold it to Jellis Fonda, by whose will, 
made September 8, 1737, it was divided among 
his three sons, Pieter, Abraham and Jacob. 


The next island above Guise's island is Sassian s 
or Claas Viele's island, containing between seven 
and nine morgens. 

It lay opposite the '^hindmost lot No. i,*' of 
Arent Bratt, and belonged originally to Hendrick 
Lambertse Bont alias Sassian, by whom it was sold 
to Douw Aukes and then to his adopted son Cor- 
nel is Viele. The Vieles long possessed and gave 
their name to it. 


This is the large island next above Sassian s 
island, lying on the north side of the river, and 
originally contained about ten morgens. It was 
first possessed by Bent Roberts, from whom it 
passed by his will to his two stepsons, Joseph and 
Pieter Clement. They sold the upper half to Carel 
Hansen Toll, and the lower half to Cornel -s Viele. 



Mif£J(i.^ 9eBW..:^.s'^ Zii,r^ /»a,r.. 2g£& ».^-^ 

'i&s,^7^ rk^i^^s^&^,^ ^^.^.jjfnejrS.^siPc ^2s? 8;./«^ te.,^ 



• > % 



Several of the first settlers who co-operated in 
founding the village in 1662 were of mature age — 
scarcely any were aged. 

Van Curler, Glen, Bratt, Swits, Schermerhorn, 
Vedder, Veeder, Van Eps, Vrooman, Wemp, etc., 
may be mentioned as of this class, whose children 
before 1 700 had reached mature years and become 
heads of families. 

They were nearly all farmers, whatever else they 
might do; their farms were small, seldom exceed- 
ing fifty acres of arable land, and their families 
were large, often numbering from ten to fifteen 

Adriaen Appel was innkeeper in Beverwyck in 
1654. His two sons, Jan and Willem, lived here 
in 1670. In 1704 Willem owned the lot extend- 
ing from the store of Robert Ellis to that of Sam- 
uel Myers, including the canal, and the building 
called the "Wedge." In 1710 Appel owned lots 
103 to III, inclusive. 

DouwE AuKES (De Freeze) came here in 1663, 
and became an innkeeper. His inn was on south- 
east comer of State street and Mill Lane, February 
10, 1 71 8. He conveyed his property to Cornelius 
j» Vie!e. 

Gerrit Bancker was one of the first proprietors, 
but never became a resident. His house in 1662 
was bounded by Union, Washington, State and 
Church streets. It was sold by his son in 1 702 to 
Cornelius Swits. The comer lot was sold to 
James Murdoch in 1802. 

Barhydt Andries Hause and Jeronimus Hause 
were among the early settlers. They owned in 
1 760 a lot with forty-eight feet frontage, on Front 
street, at Jefferson. 

Caleb Beek settled here in 1700. He was an 
innkeeper, and his house lot was on the south 
comer of Union and Church streets. This lot 
remained in the family for about one hundred 
> Hendrick Lambertse Bont (Bint, Bent) in 1692 
owned land lying mainly above the first lock, west 
of the city. He also owned Sassians Island, The 
land long remained after passing from Bont's pos- 
session in the Viele family. 

Pieter Jacobse Barsboom De Steen barker was 
one of the first fifteen settlers. His village lot was 
on the south corner of Washington and Front 
streets, and passed to his four daughters, and re- 
mained in the family for many years. 

Arent Andriese Brait was one of the first pro- 
prietors in 1662. He owned a farm of about sixty 
acres, which aflerward was in possession of Judge 
Tomlinson, deceased. The "hindmost" farm fell 
to Mrs. Bratt's second son, Samuel. 

Andries Arentse and CapL Arent Andriese 
Bratt in about 1700 owned various parcels of 
land, part of which Reyer Schermerhom disposed 
of as tiustee. 

Samuel Arentse Bratt was bom in 1659, and 
died in 1 713 or 1714. His farm passed to his son 
Arent, who built the brick house, a short distance 
west of the first lock on the canal, and continued 
in the family until 1839. 

Dirk Arentse Bratt was bom in 166 1. He 
owned a farm in Niskayuna, which passed to his 
eldest son, Johannes, by will. Dirk was buried 
June 9, 1735. 

Philip Hendrickse Brouwer was one of the 
original proprietors in 1662, and owned lot No. 2, 
which in 1667 was owned by Jan Van Eps. 

Hendrick Willemse Brouwer owned a lot on 
east side of Church street in about 1700. This 
was owned by his widow in 1724. 

Geraldus Cambefort (or Comfort) was here in 
1690, and owned 20 acres on north side of Mo- 
hawk. This was afterward owned by Johannes 
Van Eps. 

Christiaan Christiaanse, in 1671, had a village 
lot on the northeast side of Union street, adjoin- 
ing the Dutch Church lot It was owned in 1701 
by Jellis Van VorsL 

Pieter and Joseph Clement owned land here 
from about 1725 to 1755. The property aflerward 
passed into the hands of Comelius Viele and Han- 
sen Toll. 

LuDOvicus Cobes lived here in 1677, being schout 
and secretary of Schenectady. He owned the 
fourth flat on the north side of the river, which was 
afterward owned by his daughter, Maria Klein. 

CapL Jan, Johannes and Frederick Clute 
were early residents. CapL Jan owned the Great 
Island in 1671, and lands in Canastagione. He 
died in 1683, leaving his property to his nephew, 
Johannes Clute, who, in 1704, sold part of it to 
Frederick Clute. Johannes died in 1725. All the 
Clutes in this region are believed to be descended 
from either Johannes or Frederick. 

Claas Andriis De Graaf was one of the first 
settlers, taking up land at the Hoek, at Scotia, 
where, for several generations, the family resided. 

Jan De La Warde bought land in about 1675 
at Niskayuna, and an island in the Mohawk, which 
was called I^ Wardens Island, and afterward 

^ - 



Jaris Aertse's Island. It lies just north of Van 
Slyck's Island. It was conveyed in 1699 to 
Gysbert Marcelis, of Albany. Since then it has 
been called " G}'Se's Island. " The Niskayuna 
property was also sold to Jans Aerise in 1 699. 

Hans Janse Eenkluys came to Schenectady soon 
after it was settled; died in 1685, leaving his prop- 
erly to the church. His farm consisted of 18 mor- 

gens of river flats, lying in Third Ward. After 
holding this land for 180 years, it was sold by the 
church, in 1863, for $11,000. 

Dominie Barnhardus Freermak, the second 
minister of the church, came here in 1700. He 
staid here five years, and died in 1741. He mar- 
ried Margarita Van Schaaick, of New York, in 

Jan Pieterse Mebie married Anna, daughter 
of Pieter J. Boisboom. His home lot was on the 
east side of Church street, to the north of the 
Dutch Church. He was in the possession of this 
lot before 1690. His farm was on the third flat, on 
the south side of the river, about eight miles above 
the village. His descendants still occupy the 
brm. It is the writer's belief that the house on this 
farm, at least its stone walls, date from 1670-80, 
when Daniel Janse Van Antwerp occupied the land 
in the center of which it stands. The Mebie House, 
as it is now known, is doubtless the oldest house 
in the Mohawa Valley, if not in the State of New 

Sander Leenuertse (Lindsay) Glen came from 
Scotland about 1633. His wife was Catalyn Don- 
cassen. They both died within about a year of each 
other — she, August iz, 1684; he, November 13, 
1685 — leaving three sons, Jacob, who settled in 
Albany, Sander and Johannes. He was one of 
the first proprietors of Schenectady. 

Sander Glen, second son of Sander Leendertse, 
was born in 1647. His village lot was on the 
north side of Washington street, adjoining (he 
estate of the late Judge Paige. Captain Sander 

bar'' ^ 1^3 "^ ■^t9^ 

t SKphen Svyre. decvattd. 


Glen died about 1695, without issue, leaving his 
estate to the children of his two brothers, Jacob 
and Johannes. The farm ot Sander Leendertse, 
lying on the north side of the river, was called 

Tlie Glen property comprised several hundred 
acres. By marriage this estate passed to the 
Santlers famil), by whom a large portion of it is 
slill held. 

Johannes, youngest son of Sander Leendertse, 
was born in 1648. 

The residence of Charles P. Sanders was built 
by him in 1713, and occupied until his death 
in 1731. 

Symon Sv.monse Groot came here in 1663. He 
married Rebecca, daughter of Philip Du Trieux, of - 
New Amsterdam, and had six sons and four daugh- 
ters, of whom Symon, Abraham, Philip, Dirk and 
Claas were captured by the French and Indians in 
1690 and carried to Canada. They were redeemed 
the following year. His home lot was on the 
northern side of Union street, 100 feet west 
from Church street. It remained in the family 
several generations. Symon Symonsc Groot, Jr., was 
his eldest son, and he married, in i6yz, Geertruy, 
daughter of Jan Rinckhout, of Albany. His vil- 
lage lot was OH the north side of State street. 



Philip Groot settled on the north side of the river, near 
Crane's village. He married Sarah, daughter of 
Jacobus Peek. Abraham Groot married Antje 
Wemp, widow of Sander Glen, in 1696, and sec- 
ondly, Hesterje, daughter of Harmen Visscher, 
of Albany, in 1699, ^y whom he had several chil- 
dren. His home lot was on the north side of Union 
street, about half way up College Hill. 

(iERRiT Marselis was the son of Marselis Janse, 
of Albany, and early settled here. He was slain 
in 1690. His lots, Nos. 139 to 143, afterward be- 
longed to Wm. McCamus. 

Ahasuerus Marselis came here about 1698. 
He was a shoemaker, and had his shop on the 
south comer of Mill lane and State street This 
property was afterward owned by Pieter Fonda, and 
the lot in the rear by Marselis, Fonda and Robert 

Johannes Myndertse came here in 1700; by 
trade a smith, he was armorer of the Fort. He 
owned two lots on State street, one where Barney's 
store now stands; the other on the west corner of 
Mill lane and State street, where his dwelling was. 
Myndertse left by will, proved September 7, 1757, 
his property to his three sons, Mynderl, Reinier 
and Jacobus. 

Philip Philipse married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Harmen Ganzevoort, of Albany, about 1685. 
The descendants of Philipse still reside on or near 
Willow flat Jan Philipse, a brother, is first men- 
tioned as a member of the church in 1701. 

JanRoeloffoe was the eldest son of the famous 
Anneke Janse, by her first husband, Roeloffe 
Jansen. In 1680 he owned a home lot on the 
north side of Union street; the lot subsequently 
owned by Joseph Y. and Giles Van De Bogart 

Jacob Janse Schermerhorn died at Schenectady 
in 1689, where he had lived for some years. He 
left part of his property to his son Reyer, who 
married Ariaantje Bratl. Symon Schermerhorn, 
another son of Jacob Janse, was in 1693 a 
skipper on the Hudson river. 

Cornelius Slingerland married Eva Mebee in 
1699. His house lot (1706-22) was on the south 
side of State street, forty feet east of Water street 


Isaac Cornelise Swits settled here in 1663. 
He married Susanna Groot, by whom he had nine 
children, eight of whom were living in 1701, 
when he made his will. Cornelius Swits was his 
eldest son. He married Hester Visscher, of 
Albany, and took up his residence thereabout 1702. 

Teunis Cornelise Swart was one of the early 
settlers. . He occupied the lot on the east corner 

of Church and State streets. He had other 
property. Esaias Swart was son of Teunis. He 
married Eva, daughter of Teunis Van Woert, and 
owned a village lot on the east side of Church 

WiLLEM Teller was one of the first proprietors, 
though never a resident here. He died in 1701, 
in his 8 1 St year. His house lot was on Washington 

Carel Hansen Toll first settled at Hoffman's 
Ferry. In 171 2 he owned a village lot here, on 
Union street, which is the present Courthouse 
lot He married Lysbet, daughter of Daniel 
Rinckhout, of Albany, and had eight children. 
He owned Cuyler's flat, Cambefort's flat, the 
seventh flat and Maalwyck. 

Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen was bom in 1635, 
coming here about 1665. He built, substantially, 
what is now known as the Mebie House, above 
referred to. Jan Daxielse Van Antwerpen, 
Daniel's oldest son, was born about 1670 ; married 
Angnieta Vedder in 1700, and died Januar>' 20, 
1756. Arent, another son, married Sara, daughter 
of Johannes Van Epps, and had nine children. 
His village lot is now occupied by Given's Hotel. 

Marten Van Benthuysen, through his wife, 
Feitje, daughter of Pieter Jacobse Borsboom, had a 
fourth interest in Borsboom's land. 

Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakelen came here in 
about 1 700. He owned several lots of land. He 
left two sons, Gerrit and Gysbert 

Arent Van Curler was the leader of the colony 
at Schenectady in 1662. He came over in 1630, 
and in 1643 married Antonia Slaaghboom, widow 
of Jonas Bronck. No man of his time had so fully 
won the confidence and esteem of the Indians, and 
to honor his memory they ever addressed the Gov- 
ernor of the Province by his name. He was 
drowned on Lake Champlain in July, 1669. Van 
Curler's home lot in the village was a portion of 
the block bounded by Union, Church, Front and 
Washington streets. The Rev. Wm. Elliot Grif- 
fin, D. D., says that ** Arent Van Curler was a 
scholar and a gentleman, fluent with his pen, pos- 
sessing a gift by no means to be despised — the 
mastery of language. He was a man of systematic 
mind, so faithful to his trust and vow as to recall 
a Roman of classic days ; and so kind of heart, so 
full of deep conviction of conscience, along with the 
power of rising above the narrowness of sect or 
nationality, as to suggest a Christian. Brave as a 
lion, fearless neither of conspirators, scheming law- 
yers, who made use of their profession mainly to 
molest honest men, or of crafty savages, or perfidi- 



ous French ; further, he had the eye of an engi- 
neer and strategist, with the foresight of a states- 
man. " 

Frans Van De Bogart came here among the 
early settlers, and was killed in the massacre of 
1 690. His farm lay on the south side of the river 
at and below the Saratoga Railroad bridge, and a 
portion of it still belongs to his descendants. 

Laurens Claese Van Der Volgen, at the de- 
struction of the village in 1690, was made captive 
by the Indians, with whom he remained several 
years. He became interpreter for the Province, 
which position he held until his death, in 1742. 
His village lot was the eastern half of the lot now 
occupied by the Myers block, and he also owned 
part of the fifth flat 

Jacobus Van Dyck was a doctor ; he settled here 
and practiced his profession until his death. He 
married Jacomyntje, daughter of Johannes Sanders 
Glen, October 25, 1694, and had two children, 
Elizabeth, and a son, Cornelius, who followed his 
fathers profession and inherited his possessions. 

Dirk Van Eps married Maritie Damens, and had 
two children, Johannes and Lysbert, who became 
the wife of Gerrit Bancker, of Albany. His home 
lot was on the north corner of State and Church 
streets. Jan Baptist Van P^ps, eldest son of Jan 
Dirkse Van Eps, was born in 1673, and married 
Helena, daughter of Johannes Sanderse Glen, in 
1699, and had eleven children, all of whom, save 
one, reached mature age and had families. He 
was captured by the Indians in 1690, with whom 
he remained three years. He owned, with other 
parcels, the '* foremost" farm, No. 8, on the 
bouwland. This farm has remained in the fam- 
ily until this day. Evert Van Eps was a son of 
Jan Dirkse Van Eps. His first wife was Eva, 
daughter of Carle Hansen Toll ; his second, Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Isaac Truax. He had thirteen 
children. His village lot was on the west side of 
Washington street 

Claas Frederickse Van Petten was born in 
1 64 1. His wife was Aeffie, daughter of Arent 
BratL They had eight children. They both died 
in 1728, she aged seventy-eight years, he eighty- 
seven years. He owned a farm between the river 
and the lake in Scotia, and a village lot, being part 
of the Glen lot. 

Harmen Albertse Vedder owned much land 
here at an early day, removing here in about 1672. 
He died, June 18, 1714, leaving five sons and one 
daughter. Albert Vedder, eldest son of Harmen, 
was bom in 1671. He was captured by the In- 
dians in 1690, and was kept in captivity for several 

years. His village lot was on the north side of 
Union street. It was afterward owned by Regnier 
Schaets. Harmanus Vedder, son of Harmen, was 
an Indian trader, and owned a village lot on the 
north comer of State and Church streets. In 
1757 Harmen Vedder, Jr., conveyed this lot to 
Alexander Vedder. Ferry street (extended south) 
passes through this lot Arent Vedder, son of 
Harmen, married Sara, daughter of Symon Groot, 
and had eleven children, all of whom, save one, 
were living, and had families, August 10, 1846, 
when he made his will. His village lot, on the 
west side of Washington street, is now owned by 
D. Cady Smith. Johannes Vedder, fourth son of 
Harmen, was carried to Canada in 1690 with his 
brother Albert He inherited a portion of the 
''hindmost" farm. No. 8, from his father. Cor- 
set Vedder, fifth son of Harmen, lived in 
''Schaghkook" until 1720, when he removed to 
Niskayuna. He owned four morgens of his fether's 

Symon Volckertse Veeder was bom in 1624. 
His home lot in the village was on the north cor- 
ner of State and Ferry streets. Gerrit Symonse 
Veeder, son of Symon, married Tryntje, daughter 
of Helmer Otten, in 1690. He was the owner of 
much landed property. Pieter Symonse Veeder, 
son of Symon, married Neeltje, daughter of Claase 
Van der Volgen, in 1 704. He settled on the Nor- 
mans Kil. He died about 1 709. Johannes Sy- 
monse Veeder, son of Symon, resided on the 
Normans Kil, where he had a portion of his father s 
land. VoLKERT Symonse Veeder, son of Symon, 
lived on the north comer of Ferry and State streets, 
on a lot received from his father. 

Pieter Cornelise Viele was among the early 
settlers. He owned part of De Winter s bouwery 
in 1670, and died some time before 1690. Cor- 
NELis Viele, brother of Pieter, owned the two 
bouweries No. 8. He was one of the two licensed 
tapsters of the village, his inn being on the south 
corner of Mill lane and State, near Church street, 
Arnout Cornelise Viele, son of Cornelis, was for 
many years provincial interpreter. On account of 
the Indians' high esteem for him, the Mohawks, in 
1683, gave him a parcel of land, above Schenec- 
tady, on the north side of the river, called Wach- 

Hexdrick Meese Vrooman came here in 1677 
and bought the Van Curler bouwery. His village 
lot was on the north side of State street. He was 
slain in 1690. Adam Vrooman, son of Hendrick, 
in 1690, saved his life *'by his bravery in de- 
fending his house, which stood near the north gate. 

on the west corner of Church and Front streets." | 
Be»des this lot he owned other parcels of land. 

Jan Vrooman, son of Hendrick, married Geesie, 
daughter of Symon Vceder, July 4, 1680, and had 
filieen children, the most of whom attained 
maturity and had families. His village lot, inherit- 
ed from his father, was on the north side of Sute 
street, near Given s Hotel, Capt Hendrick 
Vroohan was the fourth son of Adam Vrooman. 
Among other parcels of land, he owned in 1706 a 
lot on the south side of State street, " on the side 
of the Coehom creek." Barext Vrooman, son of 
Adam, married Tryntje, daughter of Takel Heem- 
straat, of Albany, June 18, 1699. He died in 
1746; his village lot was on the north comer of 
State and Center streets. Wolter Vrooman, son of 
Adam, married Harytje, daughter of Isaac Hallen- 
beclt, of Albany ; they had sixteen children ; he 
died October 16, 1856 ; he owned five different 
parcels of land. Jan Vroomas, son of Adam, was 
by trade a brewer. He received some land from 
his father, among which was a parcel lying west of 
the city, now mainly covered by the canal and 
railroad. Pieter Vrooman, son of Adam, married 
Grietje, daughter of Isaic Van Alstync, of Albany, 
February j, 1706 ; they had twelve children. He 
settled early upon "Vrooman's land," in Scho- 
harie. Simon Vrooman, son of Jan Vrooman, 
married F.ytje, daughter of Jacob Delamont He 
bought, in 1710, a " lot lying on the west side of 
the canal, extending from State to Liberty street." 
By his will, made in 1752, his son Jacob inherited 
this, and his son Johannes the " tan-pits," near the 
Church mill on Mill lane. 

Jan Barestse Wehp settled here in 1662, buy- 
ing " Van Slyck's " or " VVemp's Island. " His 
village lot was on the west side of Washington 
street This lot was inherited by his son Myndert, 
who was killed in the missacre of 1690, Mvndert 
Wkmp, son of Jan, was bom in 1649. He married 
Diewer, daughter of Evert Wendel, of Albany. 
Capt, Barent Wehp, son of Jan, was born in 
1656, and married Folkje. daughter of Symon V. 
Veeder, His village lot was on the east corner of 
Stite and Center streets. The front of this lot is 
now occupied by the Carlcy House. 

Robert Y.^tfj, son of Joseph Yates, settled in 
Schenectady at the age of twenty-three, and mar- 
ried Grietje Claase De Graff, of the Hoek in Scolia. 
His village lot was on the Albany road, near the 
present Ferry streeL By his will, made in 1747. 
he left his interest in his tan-yards to his sons, 
Joseph and Abraham. Robert, son of Joseph, 
settled in Schenectady before 1712, and his 

nephew, Joseph Christoffelse, settled here in 1734- 
Abraham, a son of the latter, owned a house and 
lot on Union street, opposite the Court House. 

Yates House. 


About the year 1798 there migrated to the bar- 
ren pine plains adjoining the Albany and Schenec- 
tady turnpike, about one mile from this city, a 
tribe of people called Yances, In the reign of 
Queen Anne we date the first migration of the 
gypsies to this country. A tribe of them came 
over at that time with some German families, and 
settled in or near Kinderhook in this State. From 
thence proceeded the clan which settled in this 

This name, as it obtained among the early in- 
habitants of this vicinity, was Yancej, so called 
after their patriarch, John Yonse. They were a 
race of persons with long, straight, black hair and 
dark complexions. They were generally well dis- 
posed, and the males made a precarious living by 
making baskets, selling berries^which grew 
abundantly at this time — and doing light work for 
the citizen? of Schenectady, but never cultivated 
their land, nor worked strictly at anything: while the 
female portion of the tribe occupied themselves in 
spinning, picking berries and telling fortunes. 

Some dwelt in caves which they dug at the foot 
of rising grounds, olh;rs in rude huts of their own 
construction. They were at first about forty strong, 
including men, women and children, but in the 
course of a few years they greatly increased in num- 
bers, and about forty years ago there were about 
two hundred of them. 

At present but a few of their descendants are 
jii-ing in this vicinity. Some families may be 
found living among the mountains around the vil- 
lages in Schohirie County. There they are called 
I the " Slough ters. '■ 


A Plan 


Sr'/un'e^Zaf.43.2^(if}r/.y4.30 . 


Down to the close of the French war in 1 763, 
the Iroquois carried on an intermitlcnt warfare 
with the French of Canada. All settlements in 
the valley of the upper Hudson were made on this 
river and the Mohawk. The danger line was along 
the banks of the Mohawk and the shores of ihe 
Hudson above Waterford. 

During a period of more than seventy years— 
1688 to 1760— the English provinces were, more 
than half the time, in a state of war, or painful ap- 

No formidable body of Frenchmen, it is true, 
ever crossed the Mohawk — iCigo — but parties of 
their Indian allies, in squads of five to twenty, 
were consUinlly sent out to skulk along the border 
and pick off unwary husbandmen. Every dwelling 
along this danger line was constructed for defense, 
as well as for habitation. Movable block-houses 
were placed in the field for temporary shelter, and 
the farmer labored with his musket by his side, yet. 

in spite of ever^' precaution suggested by experi- 
ence, scarcely a jcar passed in which some house- 
holds were not bereft of one or more of their 

Less than four years after Schenectadj' was set- 
tled occurred the first alarm to the inhabitants. 

M. De Courcelles, Governor of Canada, on the 
29th December, 1665, began a march from Mon- 
treal with six hundred volunteers, " to seeke out 
iheir inveterate ennemyes called the Mohawke In- 
dians, to take revenge upon them for the severall 
murthers and spoyles which the barbarians had 
for many yeares exercised in Canada. " The snow 
was four feet deep; the soldiers marched on snow- 
shoes, while their provisions were drawn on "slight 
sledges" by mastilT dogs. On the glh of Febru- 
ary ihey encamped within two miles of Schenec- 
tady, having been misled by their guide. That 
evening "60 of their best Fusileers being led into 
an ambuscade by the Mohaks, lost 1 1 men besides 
divers others," who were wounded. Governor 
Courcelles applied to the inhabitants for provisions 



which were supplied according to the * ' best ac- 
commodation ye poore village afforded," but re- 
fused shelter for his men, fearing if " hee had 
brought his weary and halfe starved people within 
the smell of a chimney corner," he could not keep 
them from straggling or running away. 

Seven of his wounded were sent to Albany. 
* * The Dutch boers carryed to the camp such pro- 
visions as they had, especially peaz and bread, of 
which a good quantity was bought." On the 12th 
of February the French began their return to 

Three years later, to wit, in 1669, another In- 
dian battle was fought on the western borders of 
the town. 

In August, Caughnawaga [Fonda], a stockaded 
village of the Mohawks, was attacked by the river 
Indians or Mahikanders. After an obstinate re- 
sistance the latter were repulsed and retired. The 
Mohawks descended the river in their canoes and 
attacked the retreating foe at a place called Kina- 
quarvmes and put them to flight. 

From this time up to 1689, while the people 
lived in constant apprehension, there was really no 
outbreak. In this period of twenty years' peace 
Schenectady slowly gained in population and agri- 
cultural wealth and comforts. Some trade, too, 
was had surreptitiously with the Indians. During 
these years the French occasionally sent out ma- 
rauding expeditions, which made necessary a gath- 
ering of the savages about Schenectady. They . 
were given to drink, and were always a source of 
annoyance to the inhabiianls. 

In August, 1689, the Five Nations made a de- 
structive raid upon Montreal, killing several hun- 
dred persons and holding the place until October. 
Retaliation was naturally to be expected. The 
border settlements, as winter approached, when re- 
lief from New York would be cut off*, cast about 
for help. 

The general apprehension of an attack by the 
French led to a kind of committee of safety, 
called "the Convention," which convened in 
Albany from time to time to watch the progress of 
events and prepare for defense. This convention 
was composed of the Mayor and Aldermen of the 
city and the magistrates and chief military officers 
of the country. They were unanimously opposed 
to Leisler, and would obey none of his orders. 
Many persons during the summer of 1689 medi- 
tated and prepared to flee to a place of greater 
safety, which led to a proclamation, given at the 
City Hall, in Albany, August 7, published by the 
Justices of the Peace, forbidding all persons to de- 

part from the country. During September the 
convention was again held, the proceedings of 
which plainly show that the attack of the French 
on Schenectady, which took place the following 
February, was not unexpected. 

Schenectady, equally with Albany, was rent by 
party spirit, the inhabitants being divided into 
I^islerians and anti-Leislerians. 

Leisler promised the people the same privileges 
as Albany, to wit: those of trading with the Indians, 
hitherto forbidden them, and the right of bolting 
flour. This was a strong bid for public favor; but 
Adam Vrooman, who was addressed as Leisler's 
agent, very modestly and prudently declined the 

Early in November, 1689, news reached Albany 
*' that Leysler is about to send up an armed force 
to take possession of the place and overthrow 
the government." CapL Sander Glen, Jan Van 
Eps and Sweer Teunise Van Velsen, of Schenec- 
tady, were opponents of Leisler, and sustained the 
convention to the last, Capt. Glen being one of the 
eight men appointed by the Convention to sign 
articles with Melbourne, Leisler 's agent 

On the 25th November Capt. Jonathan Bull 
arrived with eighty-seven men from Connecticut, 
and on the 29th Lieutenant Enos Talmage, of 
CapL Bull's company, " marched with twenty-four 
men to Schinnectady to keep y* Post as it was 
agreed upon by y* five gentlemen appoint** by y* 
Convention and >'• Capt Bull and Jochim Staats. " 
December 9th was ordered as a day of fasting and 
prayer. All was confusion at Albany. Mr. 
Staats, who commanded Leisler's soldiers, would 
not submit to the convention and send ten of his 
men to Schenectady, as they wished; but went 
thither himself with some of his faction to stir up 
the people, so that the convention thought it neces- 
sary to send some one after him. 

January 12, 1689-90, ** while the convention was 
debating whether to submit to Joachim Staats as 
deputy of Leysler, a letter comes from Capt 
Sander Glen, there Maj'** Justice of the Peace at 
Schinnectady, informing them how that there are 
five commissions come to Schinnectady from Capt. 
Leysler for five Justices of y* Peace, brought thither 
by Jeronimus Wendel and Gerrit Luycasse [Wyn- 
gaard]; Y* persons are Dowe Aukus, Ryer 
Jacobse [Schermerhorn], David Christoffelse, Myn- 
dert Wemp and Johannes Pootman; and a com- 
mission to call the people together, to choose new 
Capt, Lieut and Ensigne and Town Court, and 
y* y' s** five justices come here to-morrow to avsist 
Mr. Joachim Staats and to enter upon there office. " 



***** At eleven o'clock at night they 
came within sight of the town (but) resolved to 
defer the assault until two o'clock in the morning. 
But the excessive cold admitted of no further 

' ' The town of Corlaer forms a sort of oblong 
with only two gates — one opposite the road we had 
taken — the other leading to Orange, which is only 
six leagues distant Messieurs de Sainte Helene 
and de Mantet were to enter at the first, which the 
Squaws pointed out, and which in fact was found 
wide open. Messieurs d'Iberville and de Montes- 
son took the left with another detachment, in order 
to make themselves masters of that leading to 
Orange. But they could not discover it, and 
returned to join the remainder of the parly. A 
profound silence was everywhere obser\'ed, until 
the two commanders, who separated, at their en- 
trance into the town, for the purpose of encircling 
it, had met at the other extremity. 

" The signal of attack was given Indian fashion, 
and the whole force rushed out simultaneously. 
M. de Mantet placed himself at the head of a 
detachment, and reached a small fort where the 
garrison were under arms. The gate was burst in 
after a good deal of diflficulty, the whole set on 
fire, and all who defended the place slaughtered. 

"The sack of the town began a moment before 
the attack on the fort Few houses made any 
resistance. M. de Montigny discovered some, 
which he attempted to carry sword in hand, hav- 
ing tried the musket in vain. He received two 
thrusts of a spear — one in the body and the other 
in the arm. But M. de Sainte Helene, having 
come to his aid, effected an entrance, and put every 
one who defended the place to the sword. The 
massacre lasted two hours. The remainder of the 
night was spent in placing sentinels and in taking 
some repose. 

"The house belonging to the minister was 
ordered to be saved, so as to take him alive to 
obtain information from him; but as it was not 
known, it was not spared any more than the others. 
He was slain and his papers burnt before he could 
be recognized. 

"At daybreak some men who were sent to the 
dwelling of Mr. Coudre [Coudre (?) Sander], 
who was major of the place, and who lived at the 
other side of the river. He was not willing to 
surrender, and began to put himself on the defen- 
sive, with his servants and some Indians; but as it 
was resolved not to do him any harm, in conse- 
quence of the good treatment that the French had 
formerly experienced at his hands, Mr. d'Iberville 

and the Great Mohawk proceeded thither alone, 
promised him quarter for himself, his people, and 
his property, whereupon he laid down his arms, on 
parole, entertaining them in his fort, and returned 
with them to see the commandants of the town. 

"In order to occupy the savages, who would 
otherwise have taken to drink and thus render them- 
selves unable for defence, the houses had already 
been set on fire. None were spared in the town 
but one house belonging to Coudre [Sander Glen], 
and that of a widow [Bratt] who had six children, -^ 
whither M. de Montigny had been carried when 
wounded. All the rest were consumed. The 
lives of between fifty and sixty persons — old men, 
women and children — were spared, they having 
escaped the first fury of the attack. Some twenty 
Mohawks were also spared, in order to show 
them that it was the English and not they against 
whom the grudge was entertained. 

"The loss on this occasion in houses, cattle 
and grain amounts to more than four hundred 
thousand livres. There were upwards of eighty 
well built and well furnished houses in the town. 

"The return march commenced with thirty 
prisoners. The wounded, who were to be carried, 
and the plunder, with which all the Indians and 
some Frenchmen were loaded, caused consider- 
able inconvenience. Fifty good horses were 
brought away; sixteen of these only reached Mon- 
treal. The remainder were killed for food on the 
road. * ♦ ♦ 

"Such, Madame, is the account of what passed 
at the taking of Corlaer. The French lost but 
twenty-one men, namely, four Indians and seven- 
teen Frenchmen. Only one Indian and one 
frenchman were killed at the capture of the town; 
the others were lost on the road." — Doc. Hist 
N. Y., I, i86. 

A few days subsequent to the massacre at 
Schenectady, Pieter Schuyler, mayor, and Dirk 
Wessels Ten Broeck, recorder of Albany, and 
Kilian Van Rensselaer, P(//rd?<?«of Rensselaerwyck, 
addressed the following appeal to the Governor 
(Bradstreet) and Council of Massachusetts. This 
letter, as well as one from Capt. Bull, was 
answered by the Governor and Council on the 
27th of February. 

"Albany y* 15th day offeb', i6|f 

" To our great greeffe and sorrow we must ac- 
quaint you with our deplorable condition, there 
haveing never y' Like Dreadfull massacre and 
murthur been committed in these Parts of America, 
as hath been acted by y* french and there Indians 
at Shinnectady 20 miles from Albanie Betwixt Sat- 



urday and Sunday last, at 1 1 a clok at night A 
companie of Two hundred french and Indians fell 
upon said village and mnrther'd sixty men women 
and children most Barbarously, Burning y* Place 
and carried 27 along with them Prisoners, among 
which the Leif* of Qip' Bull Enos Talmadge and 
4 more of sd company were killed Gf J taken Priso- 
ners y* Rest being Inhabitants and about 25 Per- 
sones there Limbs frozen in y* flight. 

"The cruelties committed at s* Place no Penn 
can write nor Tongue expresse, y* women bigg 
with childe Rip'd up and y* children alive throwne 
into y* flames, and there heads Dash'd in Pieces 
against the Doors and windows. 

** But what shall we say we must Lay our hands 
upon our mouth and be silent It is Gods will 
and Pleasure and we must submitt, it is but what 
our Sinns and Transgressions have Descrv'd. And 
since Generally humane things are Directed by 
outward means, so we must ascribe this sad mis- 
fortune to y* factions and Divisions which were 
amongst y* People and there great Dissobedience 
to there officers for they would Obey no Com- 
mands or keep any watch, so y* y* Enemie have- 
ing Discovered there negligence and Security by 
there Praying maquase Indians (who were in s** 
Place 2 or 3 Days before y* attaque was made) 
came in and Broak open there verry doors before 
any Soule knew of i^ y* Enemy Divideing them- 
sells in 3 severall companies came in at 3 severall 
Places no gate being shutt, and Seperated them- 
selfs 6 or 7 to a house and in this manner bcgunn 
to murther sparing no man till they see all y* 
houses open and masterd, and so took what plun- 
der they would. Loading 30 or 40 of y* Best 
horses and so went away about 1 1 or 12a clock 
at noon on Sabbath day." ******* 

Your most humble and obed* serv** y* Conven- 
tion of Albanie 

P. Schuyler, Mayor. 

1^ H»/>^ 

The Mayor, &c., of Albany their bre giveing 
acco* of y* ffrench & Indians cutting of a Town of 
English &c., many things k Dutch Feb., 1689." 

[Mass. Archives, 239-246.] 

The survivors of the massacre had become so 
discouraged by their late terrible experience, that 
it was seriously debated whether the settlement 
should not be abandoned. The frontiers were now 
so harassed by straggling parties of the enemy 
that the husbandmen could not safely plant and 
harvest their crops. 

In the midst of these discouragements the Mo- 
hawks strove to dissuade them from abandoning 
their plantations, promising them aid, counseling 
them to fortify their village more substantially. 

May 12, 1690, the "Commissioners for Albany" 
ordered that the "posts of Schanechtede, Connes- 
tigieone and the Half Moone be forthwith supplied 
with proper numbers of men to defend the same." 
[Doc. Hist, IL] 

In regard to the number of persons killed and 
carried away to Canada at the destruction of Sche- 
nectady, the best accounts agree substantially. 
The names of sixty persons massacred, and of 
twenty-seven captives, have been preserved among 
the historical documents in the office of the Secre- 
tary of State. The largest number of the slain re- 
sided, when living, on State street; hence the sur- 
vivors called this street Martelaers straat, in pious 
remembrance of their slaughtered relatives and 
neighbors, a name whose significance and senti- 
ment are in striking contrast with the utter poverty 
of invention and good taste shown by their de- 
scendants in borrowing a name from Albany for 
their chief business street 

The following is the list of those killed, above 
referred to: 

Myndert Wemp, Jan Van Eps, "his son and 
two of his children; " Sergt Church, of Capt 
Bull's company; Barent Janse (Van Ditmars) and 
son; Andries Arentse Bratt and child; Maria Viele, 
two children and negro woman servant; Maria 
AlolfF, Sweer Teunise (Van Velsen) and wife; four 
negroes of Teunise, Antje Janz, Enos Talmidge, 
lieutenant of Capt Bull's company; Henderson 
Meese Vrooman and Bartholomens Vrooman, " and 
two negroes of Henderson; " Gerrit Marcellis, wife 
and child; Robert Alexandier, soldier; Robert Hes- 
seling, Sander, "son of Gysbert Gerritse (Van 
Brakel);" Jan Roeloffise (son of Anneke Janse); 
Ralph Grant, a soldier; David ChristofFelse, wife 
and four children; Jaris Aertse (Van der Baast), 
Johannes Potman and wife; Wm. Pieterse, Dom- 
inie Pelrus Tassemaker; Frans Harmense (Van de 
Bogart); Engel Vrooman and child; Reynier 
Schaats and son; Daniel Andries " and George, 
two soldiers; " "a French girl prisoner among the 
Mohogs;" "a Maquase Indian," "Johannes, son 
of Symon Skermerhom, and three negroes of Sy- 
mon Skermerhorn. " 

Among those taken prisoners and carried to 
Canada, some died on the way there and some 
were afterward released and returned to Schenec- 

The following ballad, though without much lit- 
erary merit, has some value for the facts set forth 


It was evidently written by a person belonging to 

the English garrison, stationed at Albany. 




"In which is set forth the horrid cruellties practised by the 
French and Indians on the night of the 8th ot last February. 
The which I did compose last night, in the space of one 
hour, and am now writing the morning of Fry day, June 12, 
1690. W. W. 

God prosper long our King and Queen, 

Our lives & safeties all. 
A sad misfortune once there did 

Schenectady be£all. 

From forth the woods of Canada 

The Frenchmen tooke their way 
The people of Schenectady 

To captivate and slay. 

Thev march*d for two & twenty dais 

All thro' the deepest snow ; 
And on a dismal Winter Nicht 

They strucke the Cruel Blow. 

The lightsome sun that rules the Day 

Had gone down in the West ; 
And eke the drowsy Villagers 

Had sought and found their reste. 

They thought They were in Safetie all, 

And dreampt not of the Foe ; 
But att Midnight They all awoke. 

In Wonderment & Woe. 

For They were in their pleasant Bcddes, 

And soundelie sleeping, when 
Each door was sudden open broke 

By six or seven Men. 

The Men and Women, Younge & Olde, 

And eke the Girls and Boys, 
All started up in great Aifrignt, 

Att the alarming Noise. 

They then were murther'd in their Beddes, 

Without shame or remorse ; 
And soon the Floores and Streets were strewed 

With many a bleeding corse. 

The Village soon began to Blaze, 

Which shew'd the horrid sight : — 
But, O, I scarce can Bearc to Tell 

The Miseries of that Night 

They threw the Infants in the Fire, 

The Men they did not spare ; 
But killed All which they could find 

Tho* Aged or tho' Fair. 

O Christe ! In the stQl Midnight air. 

It sounded dismally, 
The Women's Pravers, and the loud screams 

Of their great Agony. 

Methinks as if I hear them now 

All ringing in my ear ; 
The Shrieks and Groanes and Woeftill Sighs, 

They ulter'd in their Fear. 

But some ran off to Albany, 

And told the dolcfull Tale : 
Vett, tho' We gave our cheerful aid. 

It did not much avail. 

And we were horribly afraid. 

And shook with Terror, when 
They told us that the Frenchmen were 

More than a Thousand Men. 

The news came on the Sabbath morn 

Just att the Break of Day, 
And with a companie of Horse 

I galloped away. 

But soone We found the French were gone 

With all their great Bootye ; 
And then their Trail We did pursue 

As was our true Datye. 

The Mohaques joynd our brave Partye, 

And followed in the chase 
Till we came upp with the Frenchmen 

Att a most likelye Place. 

Our soldiers fell upon their Reare, 

And killed twenty-five. 
Our Young Men were so much enrag'd 

They took scarce One alive. 

IVAillebout Then did commande, 
Which were but Theevish Rogues, 

Else why did they consent and goe 
With Bloodye Indian Dogges ? 

And Here I end the long Ballad 

The Which you just have redde ; 
I wish that it may stay on earth, 
Long after I am dead. 

Walter Wilie. 
Albany, 12th of June, 1690. 


The destruction of Schenectady and the uncer- 
tainty of future safety of the border settlers in the 
vicinity of that village awakened in their minds 
serious doubts as to the expediency of rebuilding 
their dwellings and putting seed into the ground. 
To reassure the courage of the people, the Conven- 
tion at Albany passed the following resolution, on 
the 2 2d February, 1690 : 

Resolved, That for y* p'servation of there maj" 
Intrest in these parts <& y* Secureing of there Subjects 
in this time of war w"* y* french, y* all means be 
used to Perswade all y* maquase to come & live & 
Plant at Schinnectady, lately Destroyed by y* french 
and there Indians w** will be a means y* y' winter 
com sowed there may be reaped & y* Indians in 
Readinesse to join with our forces upon any occa- 
sion if y* enemy should come. — [Doc. Hist, II, 
p. 90.] 

The Five Nations, too, in a council held at Al- 
bany, May 3, spoke encouraging words : 

'* Brother Corlaer, be nowise discouraged, but 
make your fort strong (as we have our castles) at 
Schenectady, and maintain a garrison there, that 
your Come may be preserved, & reap your harvest; 
also send for your wifes and children from New 
York and encourage them that we shall be safe, 
and fear not, * * * The words of Diadorus 
are ended." 

So impoverished had Albany and Schenectady 
become that aid was called for from Connecticut 
for '*fournishing the souldiers with provisions, 
Shenectady being destroyed and most of the out 
plantations deserted, that your hon" would be 
pleased \o gend » supply of an hundred barreb of 


porke or beefe equivalent for maintaining their 
Maj" Forces." 

On the 9th June, 1690, four persons of those who 
had been captured by the French and escaped 
Irom Canada arrived in Albany, to wit: Kl}-n 
hack [SwitsJ, of Schenectady, and his eldest son 

Symon ; Ryck Claessen [Van Vranken], of Niskay- 
una, and one of Captain Bull's soldieis taken at 
the destruction of Schenectady. Four more cap- 
tives taken at the same place were brought in, 
March, 1691, by a "party of Christians and 
maquase. " 


Id the beginning of June, i69i,Gov. Sloughter, i 
who succeeded Andros, visited Albany and Sche- 
nectady to inspect the defenses and hold a council | 
with the Five Nations, and, on the nth of July, ■ 
Gov. Sloughter wrote to the Governors of the 
Other Provinces that he had just returned from Al- ; 
bany, where he "foundour Plantations and Sche- , 
nectady almost ruined. 1 have garrisoned Schenec- , 
tadyand HalfeMoon with someof the 100 fusileers , 
raised by our Assembly." i 

Again, August 6, he says: "I found Albany , 

full of disorder, the people ready to disert it ; I 

about 150 farms deserted &. destroyed by the 
French. " 

October 5, 1691, "At a council held al Fort 
William Henry [N. Y.] 

"This Board having the Garrison of Schenec- 
tady under consideration, it is thought convenient 
10 remove the 4 guns from there to Albany, and 
that Petardoes be placed in their steade." 

Late in the year 1691 another of the prisoners 
taken at Schenectady the year before was brought 
back by an Oneida Indian, who was rewarded in 
" DufTeU and Rom" to the amount of ^2 2% 



In January, 1692, Comelis Van Slyck, Hannen 
Van Slyck and Hendrick Janse went out from 
Schenectady with the Maquase upon the Brand- 
wachy toward Canada, Captain Sander Glen fur- 
nishing **sno shoes " for them. 

In February came an alarm from Albany to 
Governor Fletcher that ''350 French and 200 In- 
dians had come within 36 miles of Schenectady." 

The Governor proposed to ' * detach three hun- 
dred men out of the city regiment and adjacent 
counties to be transported to Esopus by water," 
from whence they were to be sent on to Albany 
and Schenectady by horses. 

In May there was a new alarm, and Major 
Ingoldsby visited Albany, where the officers '* rep- 
resented that they need a force of 400 men on this 
frontier, 200 at Albany, 50 each at Schenectady, 
Canastigione & Half Moon, & 50 to go out 
with 100 Indians as constant scouts in the 

In October, Governor Fletcher visited Schenec- 
tady and put it in some posture of defense for the 
coming winter. 

In August, 1692, a new expedition was fitted 
out at Schenectady, consisting of 350 Indians of 
the Five Nations under Canachkorie to attack 
Canada. The expense of the outfit was /*54 3s. 
5d. Among other things furnished was four ells 
of " red and blew " ribbons " to tye in his eares." 

P. Davitse was allowed nine shillings for making 
two gun-stocks; Jellis Funda, nineteen shillings 
and six pence for making four gun-stocks, 
and Barent Mynderse and Christian Smith, £•] 6s. 
8d. for repairing arms for the Indians. 

While at Schenectady the "Mayor & the 
Rest" stayed with Johannes Glen. Hille Van 
Olinda, their interpreter, made two great belts of 
wampum, for which she received £2 8s. 

There was furnished for the expedition 600 lbs. 
of ** beefc & pork, besides the four quarters of a 
small beasts," amounting to £\ 16s., 25 skipples 
of pease @ 2s. 6d., and 24 loaves of bread @ 7d. 

A large quantity of wampum belts was sent 
along to draw over the Praying Indians of Canada. 
The zewant for two great belts cost £1 1 2s. 

So impoverished had the people of Schenectady 
become, that a tax of only ^'29 7s. ($73.33) was 
considered too great a burden for the whole town- 
ship, and they petitioned for a release of the same, 
which petition was, October 11, 1692, granted, 
** nemine coniradicenie." 

** In the expedition the English lost four soldiers 
and four Indians, twelve wounded. Killed of the 
enemy, 33, including their captain-commandant 

and twenty other officers, and two of their com- 
manding Indians, and rescued forty or hhy 'pris- 

During the winter of 1693 and the sumiher of- 
1694 there were no important movements on 
either side; the French using their best endeavor 
to make peace with the Five Nations; the English 
striving to counteract their projects. During the 
summer of 1695 there were constant conflicts be- 
tween the Five Nations and the French, but the 
anticipated raid during the winter of 1 696-1 697 
did not take place, though in the spring of 1697 
small parties appeared on the Mohawk, doing such 
mischief as opportunity favored. 

On the 20th September, 1697, articles of peace 
were signed between France and Great Britain, 
called the peace of Ryswick. For nearly ten years 
the Mohawk valley had been the scouting ground 
of the two hostile parties. The husbandmen had 
labored with his musket by his side, and made his 
dwelling literally his castle. 

The news of peace did not reach Canada until 
May, 1698, and then by the way of New York in a 
communication from Governor BellomonL 

Although peace had been declared between the 
two nations, the French of Canada still threatened 
war against the Five Nations, and Governor Bello- 
mont prepared to espouse the cause of his Indian 
allies by calling upon the trained bands of Albany 
and Schenectady to hold themselves in readiness to 
march with the regulars. The dangers and alarms 
of these times are clearly stated by Governor 
Bellomont in a letter to the Lords of Trade, dated 
24th October, 1698. 

After the proclamation of peace, early in 1698, 
the fortifications and garrisons on the border were 
greatly negtected. May 25, 1700, Governor 
Bellomont wrote to the Lords of Trade **that at 
the very time they [the French] are fortifying against 
us and keeping up the same number of soldiers 
still, which they did all the war, we on our part 
let our wooden forts fall to the ground, and re- 
duce our pittance of soldiers, and neither mind 
paying nor recruiting them. " 

On the 29th August, 1 700, Governor Bellomont 
held a conference with the sachems of the Five 
Nations at Albany, to whom he made the follow- 
ing complaint: 

"I have some complaints at this time made to 
mee of mischief lately done by some of your people 
in killing their cattle above Schanegtade. I desire 
you will inquire into the matter, and take such or- 
der that reperation may be done the people that 
have been so wronged. " * * * 



From 1697 to 1701 there was peace between 
England and France, consequently between Canada 
and the English Provinces. Nevertheless the con- 
stant intrigues and threats of the French toward 
the Five Nations made it necessary for the Pro- 
vincial authorities of New York to use persistent 
and vigilant circumspection to counteract these 

Governor Belloraont died 5th March, 1701. Al- 
ready rumors were rife in New York of a prospect- 
ive war between France and England, on which 
account Colonel William Smith, President of the 
Council and ex officio Governor of the province, in 
writing to the Lords of Trade, "begs leave hum- 
bly to repeate the state and condition of the forts 
at Albany and Schenectady, which are almost to- 
tally decayed & unserviceable.*' 

In 1709 orders were sent from England to 
Governor Lovelace to prepare for an attack upon 
Canada and Nova Scotia. It was proposed to send 
out a naval squadron and five regiments of regu- 
lar troops to Boston, there to be joined by 1,200 
of New England. 

These troops were to attack Quebec, while 
1,500 men marching by way of Albany were to 
attack Montreal. 

The Five Nations and River Indians were to as- 
sist This expedition was to be commanded by 
Colonel Francis Nicholson and Colonel Samuel 
Vetch, but like the attempt in 1691 proved a mis- 
erable failure. The English ministry, instead of 
sending the promised armament to their American 
provinces, sent it to Portugal. 

The Five Nations, during the war (1701-13) be- 
tween France and England, being neutral, became 
corrupted, and less firmly attached to the latter. 

In 171 1 another attempt was made to cooiX)uer 
Canada, as abortive as the others, the naval expe- 
dition proving a failure. As a consequence, the 
French Indians commenced their skulking attacks 
upon the frontiers, killing two families in Schagh- 

January i, 171 2, Governor Hunter wrote to the 
Lords of Trade: ** All is quiet at present upon the 

From this time until the "old French War" in 
1744 there was peace between France and Eng- 
land, and consequently between Canada and the 

In 171 5 the township of Schenectady had two 
militar>' companies of foot, consisting of about 
sixty men each, including officers. 

Although the peace of Utrecht brought compara- 
tive quiet to the border settlements of this province. 

the Five Nations still distrusted the French and 
their Indians, and stood prepared to defend them- 
selves against their attacks. 

The English sympathized with them and fur- 
nished them every aid and help short of an armed 
force. They built their forts, supplied them with 
arms and ammunition, repaired their muskets and 
tomahawks, clothed them with duffels and strouds, 
and in times of scarcity sent them com. In many 
cases the smiths and carpenters sent there were 
citizens of Schenectady. 

In 1 71 1 Governor Hunter, the belter to pro- 
tect his faithful allies, the Iroquois, contracted 
with Gerrit Symonse [Veeder], Barent Vrooman, 
Hendrick Vrooman, John Wemp and Arent Van 
Petten, carpenters, of Schenectady, for /'i,oco, to 
build two forts in the Indian country, one for the 
Mohawks, 150 feet square and 12 feet high, of 
logs one foot square, with a block house at each 
angle two stories high and 24 feet square; also a 
chapel within the fort, 24 feet square; the other, for 
the Onondagas, of like dimensions. 

In 1724 Harmen Vedder was appointed cap- 
tain of a party of smiths stationed among the Sen- 
ecas, at a salary of £10^ and Andries Brat at ^f 1 5, 
Hendrick Wemp at /"25, and Harmen Van Slyck 
at ;^25, as smiths among the Onondagas. 

In 1726 Joseph Van Lice, of Schenectady, pre- 
sented a bill to the Governor for seven months' 
service as smith in the Senecas' country, for which 
he claimed /"20. 

At a conference between Governor Burnet and 
the six sachems at Albany, 9th Sept, 1726, a 
Seneca sachem said: 

* * * '* It is three years ago that you offered 
us a smith, and told us we might look for one to 
our minds; we found one there who pleased us 
very well. It was Myndert Wemp; when his time 
was expired he told the sachims that he was going 
home, whereupon they desired him to come again, 
because he was good and charitable to the poor; 
therefore we desire he may be our smith and go 
with us when we go home. We desire also an 
Armourer who can mend our Locks and Arms; 
such a man lives at Schenectady." 

*'5 October, 1728. 
''Brother Corlaer : 

" It has been customary when we came here to- 
wards the fall that a Smith and an Armourer to be 
sent to work for you, but then to work in our 
Country; we beg you to grant us now that Joseph 
Van Lise and Hendrick Wemp may be Ordered to 
go up with us, who are fit persons for our Occa- 



His Excellency answered: 

"I will order a Smith and an Armourer to be 
sent to work for you, but then I Expect that you 
will not suffer the ffrench Smith who is now there, 
nor any other from Canada, to reside among you 
for the Future. " 

A Sinneke sachem said: 
** Brother Corlaer: 

*'We desired a Smith and an Armourer, but we 
do not hear further of it You spoke about a 
ffrench Smith, who is now with us; he can Make 
no work, for he is an old man, and can sCSirce see. 
So we beg again that Joseph Van Lize and Hen- 
drick Wemp may go up with us. We would fain 
have the Smith and Armourer go with us now, that 
we may be sure of them, otherwise it may be neg- 
lected. " 

His Excellency answered: 

'*I will give Effectual orders to the Commission- 
ers to send a Smith and an Armourer with you to 
work in your country. " 

THE OLD FRENCH WAR, 1 744-1 748. 

The Old French War, so called to distinguish it 
from that of 1753, ^^ declared by Louis XV, on 
March 15, 1744, and accepted by England March 
29. It was two months after before the news 
reached New England, although known a month 
earlier by the French of Canada. To secure the 
friendship and active aid of the Six Nations, the 
Governor of New York called a council of the 
chiefs of the confederacy, who met at Albany, June 
18, 1744, and ** renewed, strengthened and bright- 
ened the covenant chain that had so long tied 
them and the subjects of his Majesty, the great 
king, their father, in mutual ties of friendship. " 

Although inclining to peace, they promised in 
the strongest terms to stand by their friends if at- 
tacked. During this war, as in the other preced- 
ing it, the French and their allies were the most 
actively aggressive, sending out, almost daily, small 
parties of their Indians to annoy and distress the 
frontier settlements, and bring back such plunder 
and captives as they could find. The points of 
attack in this province were settlements along the 
Mohawk and Hudson, particularly Saratoga, Sche- 
nectady and Albany and the outlying places. 

No family was safe unless protected by block- 
house or palisade; no man was exempt from mili- 
tary duty save by age or infirmity. In Schenectady 
and Albany each able-bodied man kept watch and 
ward ever}' third or fourth night. French and 

English reports also give sad accounts of shocking 
barbarities practiced on both sides by skulking 
parties of savages and white men. French reports 
clearly show the cruelties practiced by these two 
Christian nations, who rewarded their savage allies 
in proportion to the number of scalps returned. 

The French and their sax-ages made war upon 
the almost undefended frontier settlers, who were 
taken by surprise and practically unprepared. 

The distress occasioned by this war is clearly set 
forth by the following petition of the inhabitants of 
Albany for relief, made to the Provincial Assembly, 
July 27, 1747. 

The sufferings of Schenectady were even greater, 
because more exp)osed, more impoverished and less 
secure : 

***** That the inhabitants of the corporation 
of the city of Albany are in great misery and distress 
by reason of the present war with France, and with 
the Indians in their alliance. 

**That the inhabitants of the said city, ever since 
the commencement of the war, by their frequent 
watching, have been very much taken off from 
themselves and families : That every man of our 
corporation has been obliged to attend in person, or 
pay a hired man in their stead, upon watch and 
ward every third or fourth night during the whole 
time, excepting a small interval of time in the 
spring the duty was demanded only every fourth 
night ; but now, and for some time past, for the 
safety of this frontier and the poor inhabitants, we 
are obliged again to come upon a fourth night : 
That our corporation, by reason of the present war, 
are indebted * ♦ ♦ * for the supplying of fire, 
wood and candles for the night watches, and for 
powder and ball for the poorest of the inhabitants, 
* * * * besides what the inhabitants have done 
by a voluntary taxing themselves for providing and 
setting up new stockades, where the old ones were 
gone to decay. " 

While the people of Schenectady were striving 
to protect their borders from the attack of the 
enemy they were called upon to send men to 

The following answer of Col. Jacob Glen disclosed 
a sad state of morals at that important fortress : 

Col. Schuyler : It is impossible to procure 
men for going to Oswego, especially when John 
Vischer remains there. John Baptist [Van Eps, 
the interpreter] says, if a hundred pounds was 
offered him over and above his wages, [he] would 
not remain*a year under his command. 

Jacob Glen. 
Schenectady, Sept. y' 8, 1747. 



Glen, in a previous letter, says the officers at 
Oswego are drunkards. 

During the year 1747 Capt. Tiebout's company 
of foot was stationed at Schenectady. 


As the war drew to a close, in 1748, Schenectady 
met with the severest loss it had suffered at any 
one time since the year 1690. This is generally 
called the Poopendal massacre. It was, however, in 
no sense a massacre like that of 1690, except per- 
haps in the killing of the first victims, but a stand 
up and hand to hand fight in Indian fashion, in 
which the whites were the attacking party and, on 
that account, suffered more severely than the 
savages. About twenty of the former were killed 
and some thirteen or more made prisoners ; of the 
losses of the latter we have no suflScient accounts. 

Beyond tradition the accounts of this skirmish 
are meager and uncircumstantial. 

A brief letter to Col. William Johnson, written by 
Albert Van Slyck, July 21, 1748, three days after 
the affair, is the only semi-official narrative we have 
by one who was in the fight 

**From the details preserved in this letter, it 
appears that a party of men from Schenectady, the 
leader of whom was Daniel Toll, had been dis- 
patched to some place in the vicinity to bring in 
a number of horses, which was surprised by a party 
of the enemy, whose presence in the neighborhood 
was neither known nor suspected. 

** The firing being heard by Adrian Van Slyck, 
a brother of the writer of the account, who seems 
to have resided at a distance from the town, he 
sent a negro man to the latter place to give the 
alarm and obtain reinforcementSr Four parties 
of armed men successively repaired to the scene 
of action, the first of which was composed of the 
New England lieutenant, with some of his men, 
and five or six young lads, accompanied by Daniel 
Van Slyck, another brother. The second party 
was led by Ackes Van Slyck, and some men, how 
many of either party is not stated. 

"Adrian Van Slyck followed next, at the head 
of a party of New York levies ; but on reaching the 
scene of action, where Ackes, with inferior numbers, 
was holding the enemy at bay, the levies all fled in 
the most cowardly manner. 

"The fourth party was composed of Albert Van 
Slyck (the writer of the letter), Jacob Glen ' and sev- 
eral others,' on the approach of whom the enemy 
drew off, leaving Adrian among the dead." 
The letter adds : ** It grieves me, I not being com- 

mander, that when we went Garret Van Antwerp 
would suffer no more to accompany the party.'* 

The second account, written by Giles F. Yates, 
Esq. , and published in the Schenectady Democrat 
and Reflector, April 22, 1836, was gathered from 
tradition then floating about among the aged peo- 
ple of that day : 

"In the beginning of July, 1748, Daniel Toll 
and his ser\ant Ryckert went in search of some 
stray horses at Beukendal. * * ♦ They soon 
heard, as tfcey supposed, the trampling of horses ; 
but this sound proved to be that of quoits with 
which some Indians were playing. Mr. Toll dis- 
covered his danger too late, and fell, pierced by 
bullets. Ryckert escaped, reached Schenectady 
and told the news of the death of his master and 
the presence of the enemy. 

"In l^s than an hour about sixty volunteers 
were on their march to Beukendal. The greater 
part of these were young men, and such was their 
zeal that they would not wait until the proper au- 
thorities had called out the militia. * ♦ * 

"Without discipline or experience, and even 
without a leader, they hastened to the Indian 

"Those in advance of the main body, before 
they reached the enemy, were attracted by a singu- 
lar sight They saw a man resembling Mr. Toll 
sitting near a fence in an adjoining field and a 
crow flying up and down before him. 

"On coming nearer, they discovered it to be the 
corpse of Mr. Toll, with a crow attached to it by a 

" This proved to be a stratagem of the Indians 
to decoy their adversaries. The Schenectadians 
fell, alas ! too easily into the snare laid for them, 
and were in a few moments surrounded by the Iti- 
dians who had been lying in ambush. Thus 
taken by surprise, they lost many of their number, 
and some were taken prisoners before they could 
make good their retreat 

"They, however, succeeded in reaching the 
house of Mr. De Graaf, in the neighborhood, which 
had been for some time deserted. (This house is 
still standing.) But, while retreating, they con- 
tinued to fire upon their enemy. On reaching 
Mr. De Graafs house, they entered, bolted the 
doors and ascended to the second floor. Here 
they tore off all the boards near the eaves, and 
through the opening thus made fired with success 
at the savages, and succeeded in keeping them at 
bay. In the meantime Dirck Van Vorst, who had 
been left in the charge of two young Indians, ef- 
fected his escape. 



"The two youngsters were anxious to see the 
fight and secured their prisoner by tying him to a 
tree, and left him alone. He succeeded in getting 
his knife from his pocket and cutting the cord with 
which he was bound. On the approach of the 
Schenectady militia under Col. Jacob Glen, the 
party in Mr. De Graaf s house were relieved from 
their perilous situation, and the enemy took up 
their line of march for Canada. 

*' On this occasion there were thirty-two citizens 
killed (?) ; of these we are able to give the names 
of Jacob Glen (cousin of Col. Glen), Peter Vroo- 

man, John Darling, Adam Conde, Van 

Antwerpen, Cornelius Viele, Nicholas De Graaf 
and Adrian Van Slyck ; wounded, Ryer Wemp, 

Robinson and Wilson ; prisoners, 

Abraham De Graaf and his son William, John 
Phelps, Harmen Veeder and Lewis Groot 

** The bodies of De Graaf and Glen were found 
lying in close contact with their savage antagonists, 
with whom they had wrestled in deadly strife. 

* ' The corpses were brought to Schenectady the 
evening of the massacre and deposited in the large 
bam of Abraham Mabee, being the identical one 
now standing on the premises of Mrs. Benjamin, 
in Church street The relatives of the deceased 
repaired thither to claim their departed kindred 
and remove them for interment." 

The news of this battle reached Albany in the 
evening of the same day, and by midnight Lieut 
Chew, with one hundred English and two hundred 
friendly Indians, were on the march for the scene 
of action, but to no other purpose than as showing 
their willingness to meet an emergency of this 

From the accounts it is certain that the presence 
of the Indians was not suspected until the first 
shot; that Capt Daniel Toll was the first victim; 
that the alarm was given by his negro Ryckert; 
that a company of Connecticut levies, under Lieut 
John Darling, accompanied and followed by squads 
of the inhabitants, marched to the scene, and that, 
after a hot engagement, the Indians retreated, 
leaving twenty of the whites dead and taking 
away thirteen or fourteen prisoners, besides the 

Considering the number of whites engaged, their 
loss was very severe, amounting probably to one- 
third of their force. 

The following is the fullest list of killed and 
missing that can now be given: 

Killed — ^John A. Bradt, Johannes Marinus, Pe- 
ter Vrooman, Daniel Van Antwerpen, Comelis 
\'iele, Jr., Nicolaas De Graaf, Adrian Van Slyck, 

Jacob Glen, Jr., Adam Conde. J. P. Van Ant- 
werpen, Frans Vander Bogart, Capt Daniel Toll, 
Lieut John Darling and 7 of his soldiers; in all, 
20 men. 

Wounded — Ryer Wemp, Robinson, Dirk 

Van Vorst and Wilson. 

MissiKG — Prisoners, John Phelps, Lewis Groot, 
Johannes Seyer Vrooman, Frank Connor, Harman 
Veeder, Isaac Truax, Albert John Vedder and 6 
soldiers; in all, 13 men. 

After the close of hostilities, Governor Clinton 
sent Lieut Stoddert to Montreal to arrange for an 
exchange of prisoners. With Capt Anthony Van 
Schaick he went into the Indian country to recover 
the captives, but with indifferent success. Among 
those who returned with Lieut. Stoddert were Capt 
Anthony Van Schaick, John Vrooman, Peter Vas- 
borough [Vosburgh], Albert Vedder and Francis 
Conner. Efforts were made to induce others to 
return, but without success; of these were Rachel 
Quackenbos, Simon Fort and Philip Phillipsen. 
Rachel Quackenbos abjured the English religion, 
and Lieut Stoddert could not persuade her to re- 
turn. Fort and Phillipsen also desired to remaia 
with the Iroquois; the former belonged by adoption 
to a sister of a chief named Agonareche. She 
refused to give him up at any price. Capt Van 
Schaick offered six hundred livres for Fort, with- 
out succeeding in obtaining him. On the con- 
trary, so determined was his squaw owner to retain 
him, that she said she would obey the French com- 
mandant and deliver him up, but that she and her 
husband would follow him, and he should not 
reach home alive. Lieut Stoddert left Canada on 
the 28th of June, 1750, with 24 prisoners. 


All considerable settlements on the upper Hud- 
son and Mohawk rivers were from the first pro- 
tected by wooden walls. Though never attacked 
nor even seriously threatened by the Iroquois or 
Mohicans, there were but few short periods down 
to the close of the French war (1763) when they 
were not subject to frequent alarms from the French 
or their Indian allies from Canada. 

The method of fortification was by stockades, 
which the abundance of timber at their very doors 
made a cheap and ready protection. Guns were 
only used for defense, attacks being always made 
by the musket The stockade consisted of a se- 
ries of posts or logs, from 15 to 1 8 feet long and 
1 2 inches or more thick, sharpened at one end and 
hewed flat on opposite sides. 


Fine was usually chosen, because moet abundant 
and easily worked. 

The line of siockadc being: marked out, a trench 
three feet deep was dug; ihe posls were set therein, 
the flattened sides together, anil tlie earth shoveled 

back and rammed against them. To strengthen the 
top, two adjoining posts were bored and Tasiened 
together with oaken trenails. At the angles, gates 
and other important points, block-houses for the shel- 
ter of ihe garrison and guards were buiti, and within 

the stockade all around was a fiee space, called the 
Roudweg, of sufficient width for the patrol to 

In addition to this outer circle of fortification, 
in Albany and Schenectady there was a fort in one 
of the angles of the [alter place surrounded by a 
double row of high palisades, furnished with bar- 
tacks for the garrison, platforms, guns, lookouts, 
etc. And in later times, when Schenectady be- 
came a depot for men and materials, there were 
barracks outside the walls. In 1 765 the troops 
were posted along the east side of Ferry street, 
from Union to Ihe Episcopal church ; in 1761, on 
Ihe south aide of Union street, from Ferry to Mrs. 
Colon Clule's house ; in the Revolutionary war, 
on the south side of Union street, from Lafayette 
eastwardly to Quackenbush street. 

For protection and safety Schenectady was 
admirably placed, being surrounded with water 
and marsh on three sides and open only to the 
southeast, from which side the inhabitants had 
little to fear. 

The first settlers, though their land lay else- 
where, built their habitations mainly together for 
their better protection. Doubtless, as soon after 
the settlement in i66z as it could conveniently be 
done, the village was stockaded. Starting at State 
street, the line ran along the east side of Feriy to 
about the gate of the Episcopal church ; then in a 
straight line to the north side of Front, a little be- 
yond Washington street; then southerly and parallel 
to the same to State; and lastly, along the same 
twenty-eight feet south thereoftoFerry street or Mill 
lane. This was the original plot inclosed and con- 
tained most of Ihe houses of the first settlers. 

The south and west lines remained substantially 
the same down to the time of their extinction soon 
after the Revolutionary war. The front and Wash- 
ington street lines were later moved north and 
west 10 the river bank, and the Ferry street line 
some time after 1765 was carried southeasterly to 
where is now the New York Central railroad depot, 
and thence nonlierly through the Dutch church 
burying ground to the river bank. 


Gates. — In 1690 it was said in the French ac- 
count of the village that there were but two gates, 
one at the norlh end of Church street, called the 
"north gate," ihe other at State. This was, doubt- 
less, at the junction of Slate and ChurchsUeets, and 
opened out to the roads through Mill lane and 

Water street, leading to the bouwlands and to ihe 
Mohawk country. In later times there were otliers 
at Front and Union streets. The foundations of 
the gates and guardhouses where Ferry crosses 
Slate and Union streets were e.tposed in laying the 
water pipes in 1871, 

LFLANATION.— I, I, Blotk Houses. 2, 2, Riyers running beside ye fort. 3, 3, Indians" wigwams. 4. t'l 
5, Centry box. 6, Spy toft. 7, 7, 7, Slies for hogs. 8, The Block House designed for 3. church, q, 1 
and others like them houses, lo, A greai barn. 11, II, The treble stockadocs. 13, 11, The Fori Gales. 

Forts. — Schenectady was so important a post 
for the protection of the Province against the incur- 
sions of the Canadians that for the first hundred 
years of its existence it was deemed necessary to 
strengthen it by a fort and garrison. 

It is believed, from references in the records, that 
the first block-house was in the north angle of 
the stockade at or near the junction of Front 
and Washington streets. This was destroyed in 
1690 by the French, at which lime it was garri- 
soned by a small detachment under Lieut. Knos 
Talmage, from Capt Jonathan Bull's company, 
then stationed at Albany, These troops were 
Connecticut men. The magazine stood on or near 
Ihe lot of Mrs. Willard, then belonging to Capt 
Sander Glen. 

A second was built in 1690 between Washing- 
Ion street and the river, opposite ihe west end of 

Stale street, covering the lot of Kkme Isaack (that 
is, Isaac Swits), who with his son Cornells was 
carried away by the French lo Canada, On hia 
return from captivity next year he found his home- 
stead occupied by soldiers, his orchard cut down, 
and his home utterly ruined. He repeatedly peti- 
tioned for remuneration for his losses, but it was 
not until 1708 that his son received a patent for 
t. 000 acres of land in Niskayuna as a recognidon 
of his father's claim. 

The second fort was a large and spacious in- 
closnre surrounded by "a triple stockade, a new 
block-house at every angle and in each block-house 
two great guns." It contained Iweniy-eight huts 
for inhabitants of the village, two wigwams for In- 
dians, a large bam and siyes for hogs. 

At a court-martial held at Schenectady, August 
7, 1691, upon a soldier named George Castleton, 



it was proved that he quarreled with a fellow sol- 
dier named Desvallous about some beer ; the lat- 
ter struck the former with a stick, whereupon Cas- 
tleton, drawing his sword, thrust it into his side, 
causing almost instant death. The facts of the 
case were mainly proved by persons living within 
the fort The culprit was adjudged guilty of man- 
slaughter, burnt in the hand and banished the 

If Miller's drawing of this fort be correct, it must 
have extended quite across the west end of the vil- 
lage from State to Front streets, and included much 
of the land between Washington street and the 
Binne kil. The block-house in the south angle 
covered Swits' lot 

The renewal of the stockadoes, which, being made 
of pine logs, lasted but five or six years, became 
very burdensome to the inhabitants of the village 
after its destruction in 1 690. Having built a new 
fort in 1690, they were ordered to renew the pali- 
sades in 1695. On this occasion Reyer Schermer- 
hom refused to cut and draw his proportion of the 
logs; it may be because living at the mills he 
thought himself exempt from his burdensome ser- 
vice or that his quota was too large. Thereupon 
Justice Johannes Sanderse Glen fined him twelve 
shillings, and continuing contumacious. Governor 
Fletcher, on the 9th of April, 1698, directed the 
sheriff of Albany County to bring him before the 
Council in New York to answer for his conduct 
On the 30th he appeared before the Council, and 
"stood upon his vindication, whereupon he was 
committed to answer at the next Supreme Court, 
and Col. Courtland was desired to take bond with 
sureties for his appearance, and that he be of good 
behaviour in the mean time. " 

In the winter of 1695-6 the garrison at Sche- 
nectady consisted of a detachment under command 
of Lieutenant Bickford, from the companies of 
Captains James Weems and William Hyde, sta- 
tioned at Albany. 

"On the loth Jan., about 12 of the clock at 
night deserted the whole guard except one, and 
others to the number of sixteen broak through the 
north west Block house next the water side." 
[Binne kil. ] 

*' They drew the guns of both powder and shott 
The Lieutenant about two o'clock discovering their 
desertion, notified by express Col. Richard In- 
goldsby, at Albany, and with ten volunteers of the 
inhabitants and eleven soldiers, started in pursuit 
The sergeant and seven red coats soon gave out 
and were left behind. At four in the afternoon 
the lieutenant and his 14 men came up with the 

16 deserters ; ordering them to lay down their 
arms they answered with a volley, and both sides 
continued to fire until five of the deserters were 
killed and two wounded when the remainder sur- 
rendered. " 

The following were the volunteers from Schenec- 
tady who accompanied Lieutenant Bickford in his 
hazardous enterprise : ** Harmen Van Styck, en- 
signe of the trained bands of Schenechtide, and 
Gerryt Simons Veeder, Peter Simons Veeder, Al- 
bert Veeder, Gerryt Gysbert [Gysbertse Van 
Brakel], Jan Danielse Van Antwerpen, Dirck 
Groot, Jonas De Ray, John Wemp, Daniel Mutch- 
craft [Mascraft] and Thomas Smith. " 

At a court-martial held in Schenectady April 21, 
the survivors of the deserting party were accounted 
guilty and condemned to be shot 

The commander of the garrison who succeeded 
Lieutenant Bickford, in the spring of 1696, was 
Lieutenant Daniel Hunt, from the garrison -at 

After the second fort had been occupied about 
fifteen years, 1690 to 1705, the block-houses were 
abandoned, and "Queens new Fort" was built at 
the east angle of the stockade. This was the " Old 
Fort," about which all the traditions of the people 

It was at first simply a double or triple stockade, 
100 feet square, with bastions or block-houses at 
the angles. In 1735 it was rebuilt in a more sub- 
stantial manner of timbers on a stone foundation. 
The four curtains were " about 76 feet each, and 
the four bastions or block-houses 24 feet square. " 

In 1754, at the beginning of the French war, it 
contained one 6 and one 9 pounder on carriages, 
but no " port holes in the curtain to fire them." 

On the 1 5th October following the inhabitants 
of Schenectady again petitioned the Governor to 
build a fort in the village, signed by Daniel Camp- 
bell, Arent Bratt, Abm. Glen and others. 

The open space on which this fort stood, at the 
junction of Ferry, Front and Green streets, was 
about 264 feet by more than 200 feet, extending 
from the Episcopal churchyard to Green street 

The fort was built nearly in the center of this 
plat, the south wall extending across Ferry street, 
three feet south of the north comer of the parson- 
age house. 

The well of the fort was in the middle of the 
street, three feet south of the north comer of Mr. 
James Sander's house. 

Garrison at Schenectady. — WTiile the province 
remained under the Dutch rule a small body of 
soldiers was stationed at Fort Orange. After the 



English occupation in 1664 there was seldom less 
than one full company there, sometimes two, and 
Schenectady was garrisoned by a detachment there- 
from of 20 to 40 men, under command of a lieu- 

In times of alarm and war, as in the ten years' 
war between England and France, 168 8- 1698, the 
regulars were supplemented by the militia of the 
town or from Connecticut 

Hardly a year passed that the importance of 
having Schenectady better fortified and garrisoned 
was not recognized, either by the Governor and 
Council, the Legislative Assembly or the ruling 
power in the mother country. 

In 167 1 Governor Lovelace directed Captain 
Thomas De Lavall, chief officer at Albany, and he 
on the 15th of July ordered all the inhabitants of 
Albany and Schenectady over 15 and under 60 
years to provide themselves with g^ns, side arms, 
two pounds of powder arid four pounds of lead, 
each under a penalty of 100 guilders, all within 
fourteen days. The year following this order was 
renewed at a meeting of the chief officers of Al- 
bany and Schenectady, those of the latter place be- 
ing Ensign Jacob Sanderse Glen and Ensign Sweer 
Teunise Van Velsen. 

In 1687 Major Brockholes, being in command 
at Albany, reported to the Governor and Council 
assembled at Fort James, July 19, the condition of 
things at Albany and Schenectady, that *'heis 
now come from Albany to Schanectade with in- 
structions ffrom the Government to bring up there 
with all convenient speed, a certain number of 
men & some provisions." 

Whereupon it was ' * ordered that sixty men be 
reysed in & out of y* city & county of New York, 
& fifty men out of Queens County. " 

In anticipation of an immediate attack upon the 
frontiers, the Mayor, Common Council of Albany, 
military officers and justices of the peace of the 
county met in convention at Albany, on the 4 th 
of September, 1689, as a committee of safety, and 
after deliberation resolved to send an express to 
Capt Leisler, of New York, for one hundred or 
more men, **a recrute of six hundred weight of 
powder and foure hundred Ball, viz., 200 two 
pounders and 200 foure pounders with some match 
and one hundred hand Grenadoes." 

The period from 1688 to 1698 was the most 
trying and critical in the history of Schenectady. 
First there were alarms and apprehensions of an 
attack by the French and their Indians allies, the 
destruction of the village, the slaughter and the 
captivity of a large part of its inhabitants, and 

lastly, the departure of many of the remainder to 
Albany, New York and other places of safety. 
The town was in danger of being depopulated in 
spite of stringent ordinances against removal and 
the encouragement of the Mohawks to stay by the 
post, fortify and maintain a vigorous warfare 
against their enemies. 

For ten years the town gained litde or nothing 
in population and prosperity, and until the peace 
of Ryswick the chief aim of the government and 
inhabitants was to hold the village, keep in repair 
its fortifications and maintain a sufficient garrison. 

In 1698 the government sent over one Col. 
Romer, a military engineer, to examine, report 
upon and build certain forts needed on the coast 
and the frontiers. 

Gov. Bellomont ftilly appreciated the import- 
ance of Schenectady and the necessity of its being 
properly fortified for the protection of the province 
on the side toward Canada. Hence he constantly 
importuned the Lords of Trade for men and means 
to complete and garrison the forts. 

From this time on, the letters of the Governors 
of the Province to the Lords of Trade, the repoi ts 
of the military commanders at this post, the orders 
and warrants of the Provincial Council, the acts of 
the legislature from time to time and the petitions 
of the chief inhabitants all combine to show the 
culpable neglect of the mother country of the 
safety of this her most important Province. All 
accounts of the condition of the fortifications and 
garrison at Schenectady after the peace of 1698 
show that the stockades were neglected and suf- 
fered to rot down, rendering the town an open 
village, that the barracks became uninhabitable and 
that "it was by no foresight or energy of the Home 
government that Schenectady and its neighbors had 
been preserved from a second attack and destruc- 

In the year 1 703 Gov. Combury laid the foun- 
dations for a stone fort at Albany, and by the 
"advice of Her Majesty's Council of this province 
repaired as well as possible the stockaded fort at 
Schenectady. " 

Up to 1 704 the palisades on the west side of the 
village stood about 100 feet back from Washington 
street, but on the 29th July, 1704, Governor Corn- 
bury issued an order removing them to the bank of 
the BinnekU, 

At about the beginning of the second "French 
War" — 1755 — the Assembly passed an act for 
raising ^"3,000, to be expended in fortifying the 
village; but after the close of this contest, and the 
iall of the French power in Canada in 1763, the 



defenses of the village fell into decay, and were not 
renewed at the outbreak of the Revolution; neither 
were they renewed after its close. The old fort 
was removed, and the land sold; the stockades rot- 
ted and fell to the ground, and Schenectady be- 
came an "open village." 

In 1872 there were those who remembered see- 
ing the palisades standing along the Binne kill and 
used as tying posts for the Catteaux. 

There is no map which shows the change made 
during the Revolution, when the palisade line was 
carried out as far as Given's Hotel on the south, or 
State street side, and thence north to the old Dutch 
Church burying ground. 


From 1748 to the Revolution not much can be 
learned of the military organizations in Schenec- 
tady, with the exception of the gallant part per- 
formed by a company of eighty-nine men, from 
Schenectady, commanded by Capt William Mc- 
Ginnis and Lieutenant Jonathan Storms, at the 
battle of Fort George, September 5, 1755, between 
the English and French. The English troops 
were under Sir William Johnson, and the French 
under Baron Dieskau. In this batde, at that time 
said to have been one of the most desperate en- 
counters ever witnessed in the new world, both 
officers and many of the privates of the Schenec- 
tady company were killed. But so nobly did they 
fight that, in his official report. Sir William John- 
son said: "The Schenectady officers and men 
fought like lions." 

When the first gun was fired and the first blood 
flowed at Lexington, on the 19th day of April, 
1775, the mass of the inhabitants of Schenectady 
arrayed themselves on the side of liberty. On the 
6th day of May, 1775, at a meeting of the free- 
holders and inhabitants of the township of Sche- 
nectady, the following persons were selected to be 
a committee of correspondence, safety and protec- 
tion for the township: 

Rimies Mynderse, James Wilson, Hugh Mitchel, 
Henry Glen, Harmanus Wendell, Abraham Oo- 
thout, John Roseboom, Christopher Yates, Cor- 
nelius Cuyler and Jacobus Teller. Christopher 
Yates (father of the late Hon. Joseph Yates) was 
made chairman; Hugh Mitchel was made clerk. 

TTie committee held its meetings in the house 
of William White, located on the comer of Church 
and Front streets, for many years the residence of 
the late Stephen Yates. Extensive and multiform 
were the duties that devolved upon the members of 
this body. Not only were they to attend to raising 
troops and all the details of military matters, but 
acted as judges in cases of trial of all persons 
charged with treasonable sentiments. Many cases 
of this kind were tried before them, and those per- 
sons found to be unfriendly to the cause of the 
colonies, or who had in any way been proved as 
allies of England in speech or deed, were sum- 

marily punished by imprisonment in the jail at 

From the book of minutes kept by this commit- 
tee, now belonging to the library of Union College, 
a book of 162 closely written pages, we learn how 
extensive were the duties and labors of this body 
of patriotic citizens. 

The committee met often, and from the minutes 
kept of the meetings we make but a few extracts 
relative to the military companies formed at Sche- 
nectady during the revolutionary period. At a 
meeting, held May 26, it was resolved "to raise 
three companies of minute men in this township 
for its safety, in manner following, viz. : 

"Two companies in the town and one company 
in the Westina; that such companies consist of 
one captain, two lieutenants, four sergeant*, three 
corporals, a drummer and fifty privates, to choose 
their own officers; and that when said companies 
are formed, the captains in each to give a list of 
his company to the committee, and that said com- 
panies spend a few hours every week in learning 
the military exercise. " 

But at a meeting of the committee on the fol- 
lowing day the inhabitants requested the commit- 
tee to appoint officers for these companies, which 
the committee consented to do, and selected the 
following officers: 

First Company — ^Captain, Jellis J. Fonda; ist 
Lieutenant, Andrew Van Patten; 2d Lieutenant, 
Myndert A. Wemple. 

Second Company — Captain, Cornelius Van Dorn; 
1st Lieutenant, John Mynderse; 2d Lieutenant, 
Garrett Veeder. 

Third Company — Captain, John Van Patten; ist 
Lieutenant, Cornelius Van Slyck; 2d Lieutenant, 
Myndert M. Wemple. 

From the minutes of May 29, 1775: 
" In consequence of a request of the Committee 
of Albany to raise one company of men for the 
continental service to go to Ticantarog (Ticon- 
deroga), consisting of one captain, one lieutenant, 
one ensign, three sergeants, three corporals, one 
drummer, one fifer and fifty privates, 

* * Resolved, that Cornelius Van Dyck is ap- 
pointed Captain, Benjamin Hilton and Cornelius 
Van Slyck, Ensigns, and that the utmost despatch 
be made in raising said company. Their pay to 
be as follows, viz.: Captain, per month, /'6; 
Lieutenant, per month, £\\ Ensign, per month, 
£1 ; Sergeants, per month, £2 8s. ; Corporals, per 
month, £2 4s. ; Drummer, per month, £2 4s.; 
Fifers, £2 4s, ; Privates, £2 — all lawful money of 
New England." 

That this company was soon after raised is evi- 
dent from the minutes of the committee of May 31, 
two days following, wherein the following appears: 

"Captain Van Dyck made application to this 
board for provisions for his men. 

* ' Resolved, that Captain Van Dyck's men be 
boarded for the present at the houses of John 
Wilson and Robert Moston (Moycton), at the rate 
of one shilling, New York currency, per day, per 



On the 13th of July, 1775, orders were sent 
from General Schuyler to Captain Van Dyck to 
march with his company immediately to lake 
George. But at this time both Captain Van Dyck 
and his First Lieutenant were absent recruiting. 
The committee therefore advised that the company 
proceed to Lake George on the following day, un- 
der the command of Lieutenant Lansing. But 
from the minutes of the committee we find the 
members of the company refused to march with- 
out their captain. The following resolution was 
then passed by the board: 

** Resolved, that an express be sent to Captain 
Van Dyck, requesting his immediate return to 
march with his company, and that a letter be 
sent to General Schuyler, acquainting him of the 
reason for the company's delay." 

On the 20th of August, 1775, a meeting of the 
committee was held for the purpose of taking into 
consideration the forming of the militia of the 
township into companies, according to the plans 
of the Continental and Provincial Congress. 

It appears at this meeting that five companies of 
minute men and militia were formed, from the 
fact that a sub-committee was appointed at a meet- 
ing, held September 6 following, to attend the 
general committee at Albany on the seventh in- 
stant, to lay a list before it of the companies 
formed, and ask for their commissions. The cap- 
tains of these several companies were the follow- 
ing: Jellis J. Fonda, John Mynderse, John Van 
Patten, Abraham Wemple and Thomas Wasson. 

From the minutes of September 27, 1775: 

** Having received a letter from the Provincial 
Congress, dated 9th of August, requesting that all 
the districts who could raise ^s^ companies of 
militia should recommend such persons as they 
thought proper to be field officers, 

'* Resolved, that this board recommend the fol- 
lowing persons, viz.: Abraham Wemple to be 
Colonel; Jacob Schermerhom, Lieutenant-Col- 
onel; Abraham Swits, ist Major; Nicholas Veeder, 
2d Major; Aaron Van Patten, Adjutant; John 
Peek, Quartermaster. 

On the 1 7th of November following the commis- 
sions of these officers were received, undier in-' 
structions to the board to cause such officers to 
sign certain articles on the receipt of their com- 
missions. All this was subsequently consum- 
mated, and the above-named officers were enrolled 
in the service. 

January 13, 1776, Christopher Yates was ap- 
pointed Lieutenant-Colonel, Mindert Wemple 2d 
Major and John Post Quartermaster, in place of 
Jacob Schermerhom, Nicholas Veeder and John 
Peek, all three of whom had either refused to 
serve or resigned. 

A company of 60 men was sent from Schenec- 
tady, January 13, 1776, to Tryon County, to quell 
a disturbance that had broken out there among the 
inhabitants, which, in the language of the letter 
received from the General Committee, ** threatened 
destruction to the friends of liberty in that section." 

Orders were sent to Capt. John \'an Patten, Jan- 
uary 14, 1776, to place guards at William De 

Graat's, Tunis Swart's and Lewis Peek's, to prevent 
any unfriendly persons or letters to pass this point. 

At a meeting of the committee, January 26, 1776, 
it was resolved to prepare a list of all the male in- 
habitants not already formed into military compa- 
nies, so as to better enable the board to organize 
the militia of the township. Three lists were pre- 
pared, representing three companies, -and all per- 
sons whose names appeared upon them were re- 
quired to appear in Schenectady, February 10, to 
choose their respective officers. At this time the 
following officers were selected: 

First Company — Captain, Thomas Bouver Bank- 
ers; First Lieutenant, John B. Vrooman; Second 
Lieutenant, Aaron Vedder; Ensign, Benjamin 

Second Company — Captain, Henry Glen; First 
Lieutenant, John Batterseles; Second Lieutenant, 
Nicholas Barhite; Ensign, Cornelius V. Sanford. 

Third Company — Captain, Ahasueras Marseles; 
First Lieutenant, Isaac Van Slyck; Second Lieu- 
tenant, William Stephens; Ensign, Abraham Van 

April 10, 1776, Garrett S. Veeder was appointed 
Captain of all the troops raised in the district. 

At this date ends all records that can be found 
of the doings of the Committee of Safety, and from 
lack of reliable data it is impossible to follow in 
any connected manner the history of the military 
organizations formed in Schenectady during the 
revolution. We know from reminiscences and 
tradition that the soldiers furnished by the town- 
ship of Schenectady during the long years of des- 
perate and bloody strife were conspicuous for their 
bravery and ardent patriotism. Among the names 
already mentioned of the revolutionary veterans, 
those who became the most conspicuous at this 
period were : Cornelius Van Dyck, Christopher 
Yates, Jellis J. Fonda, John Graham and John 

Mr. Van Dyck was Lieutenant-Colonel and John 
Graham Major of the First New York Continental 
Regiment, commanded by Colonel Gosen Van 
Schaick, of Albany. This regiment was so well ♦ 
drilled and disciplined that it was said to have had 
' no superior in the American Army. At the bat- 
tles of Saratoga and Monmouth this regiment was 
conspicuous for the bravery and daring of its 
officers and men; and on the surrender of Bur- 
goyne, one of its captains, as a mark of honor, was 
deputed by General Gates to carry a captured flag 
and the news of the surrender to the anxious citi- 
zens of Albany. At the storming of Stony Point, 
July 16, 1779, General Wayne placed this regi- 
ment in the front, and on the storming of the two 
redoubts at Yorktown, late in the afternoon of the 
14th of October, 1781, where, to excite a spirit of 
emulation, this regiment was divided, one-half 
being committed to the French under Baron de 
Viomesnil, and the other to the Americans under 
the Marquis Lafayette, these troops assaulted * 
the works with such rapidity and daring that the 
redoubts were carried with inconsiderable loss. 

Major John Thornton, many descendants of 
whom still live in Schenectady, is spoken of as a 



daring hero and one who experienced much severe 
military service. 

Major Jellis J. Fonda, whose name has already 
been frequently mentioned, was an officer much 
esteemed by General Schuyler, and often selected 
by him where a heroic and intrepid leader was re- 
quired. He was one of the earliest, most stirring 
and unhesitating patriots of Schenectady. On the 
first report of the beginning of the strife at Lexing- 
ton, he immediately raised and equipped a com- 
pany of more than loo Schenectady minute men. 
In 1 777, when Sir John Johnson with his Scotch 
retainers had fortified themselves in ** Johnson 
Hall,'' General Schuyler with a large body of 
militia went there to reduce them. From out of 
his large force General Schuyler selected Captain 
Fonda to command a company of 200 men for 
the assault, of which the Schenectady men formed 
one-half. Under the assault of this daring officer, 
Johnson lowered his flag and surrendered without 
firing a gun. Fonda was ever afterward regarded 
as one of the most fearless of soldiers. 

WAR OF 1 81 2. 

After the Revolution to the war of 181 2 not 
much can be learned concerning military organiza- 
tions in Schenectady. From the best information 
which can be obtained, not more than one inde- 
pendent company existed during this period. 

During the war of 181 2, Jonas Holland, who 
was a major under Gen. Scott, raised a company 
in Schenectady, which participated in this war. 
Nicholas Van Slyck, a major in the Revolutionary 
War, grandfather of Christopher Van Slyck, of 
Schenectady, was a conspicuous military man at 
this time. 

Although but one regular company was raised 
in Schenectady for the War of 1812, many soldiers 
were recruited in this vicinity, who joined regi- 
ments which were credited to other localities. 

About 181 5 a company of Heavy Artillery was 
organized in Schenectady. John Benson was its 
first captain. Among its other officers appear the 
names of Thomas Hannah and David Reese. 

A Rifle company was formed soon after the 
Heavy Artillery. Henry Miller, Joshua Harmon 
and Nicholas Barhydt were successively captains. 
At one time Andrew J. Barhydt, one of the oldest 
living members, was a lieutenant in this company. 

About 1820 a company called the Grays was 
formed. The name of the company was derived 
from the color of their uniforms. Simon Glenn, 
Jesse M. Van Slyck and Abraham Clems were cap- 
tains of this company at different periods. 

All three of the above companies were in ex- 
istence at the time of the opening of the Erie Canal, 
in 1825, and took part in the interesting ceremo- 
nies attending the passing through the city of the 
boat bearing Gov. Clinton and party. 

A Cavalry company was organized about 1825. 
Joseph Consaul Was captain of this company. 
Some time in the year 183- a company, called the 
Governor's Guards, was formed in this city. A. D. 
Briggs was its first captain. Judge Piatt Potter at one 
time was captain of this company. In 1 83-, under 

the State Militia law, all the militar}- organizations 
in the counties of Schenectady, Montgomery, 
Fulton and Hamilton were formed into a brigade 
called the Fourteenth. This brigade was composed 
of three regiments, numbered 26th, 57th and 
1 88th. The 26th Regiment included the military 
companies in Schenectady. The officers of the 
various companies in the brigade elected the fol- 
lowing staff": Brigadier-General, Isaac I. Yates; 
Judge Advocate, Piatt Potter; Aids, J. Andrew 
Barhydt, Van Schaick Vedder, John Allen and 
Martin C. Myers. 

In 184- the military companies in the State 
militia in this district were reorganized. All the 
companies were formed into a brigade called the 
Seventeenth. This brigade was composed of three 
regiments; the number of the regiment which the 
Schenectady companies formed was the Twenty- 
sixth. The Governor appointed the following 
officers of this regiment: Colonel, Stephen Yates ; 
Aids, J. Andrew Barhydt, James Ward, Carl 
Thompson, Nicholas Van Debogert and Dr. 
James S. Van Ingen. Col. Yates resigned in 
1857, when J. Andrew Barhydt was appointed 
colonel. William H. Young was at one time 
major of this regiment 

About 184- a company called the Independent 
Artillery was formed in Schenectady. This became 
one of the finest companies ever organized in this 
vicinity. The uniform was very expensive and 
elegant, being a dark blue in color with no 
facings, surrounded by heavy white cord, entwined 
with gold braid. Tall bearskin caps added to the 
imposing appearance of the members. In this 
company were numbered many of our representa- 
tive citizens at that time. John Robinson and 
Benjamin F. Paths were captains at diff*erent 
periods. John B. Clute and James Hannah were 
officers in this company, and took a lively interest 
in its welfare. The hall in Madison Vedder's 
building on Union street was used as an armory 
and drilling room. In 1 84- this company went 
to the State Camp at Utica, and for soldierly bear- 
ing, discipline and appearance was admitted to 
be the finest company among the large number 
there represented from different parts of the State. 

'Itf 1855 a company called the Continenuls was 
organized. John B. Gute was its first captain. 
He was succeeded by Stephen Truax. Isaac 
Reagles was the last captain of this company, which 
disbanded sometime in 1861. 


We have now reached the exciting period of the 
beginning of the Civil War, at which time interest 
in home military companies was lost sight of, and 
they either disbanded or were allowed to die 
by neglect The threatened realities of war made 
''playing soldier" in time of peace too tame 
for the patriotic citizens of Schenectady, and the 
first signal of the beginning of hostilities aroused 
many to the purpose of raising companies to save 
this government from threatened destruction. 

And to-day, looking back over the stormy events 
of 1 86 1-5, which formed the most important 



period in the history of this country, we realize 
why the citizens of Schenectady have reason to feel 
proud of the record made by her sons in the war of 
the rebellion. 

The State of New York was especially pn-omi- 
nent in the number of troops it sent to the war, and 
no county according to population furnished more 
men to help save the nation's life during 
those years of bloody strife than Schenectady. 
The services they performed, the privations, 
suffering and the hardships endured in that great 
struggle, where so many of Schenectady's bravest 
and best gave up their lives that this government 
might live, cannot be properly treated in a work 
like this. It could only be imperfectly done in a 
work especially devoted to such a subject. 

In the following account of the military organi- 
zations which went from Schenectady it has been 
the object to give in a necessarily condensed form 
the briefest account of each company, and of all 
the men from Schenectady who took a prominent 
part in the war. Much of the information here 
gathered was obtained from the meager accounts 
contained in the reports of the Adjutant-General, 
and from personal recollections of many of our 
living veterans of the war. 

The first company organized in Schenectady 
for the late civil war was the Seward Volunteer 
Zouaves, afterward known as Company A, 
Eighteenth Regiment New York Volunteers. This 
company was organized by William Seward Grid- 
ley, who was elected its captain, and who com- 
manded it at the first battle of Bull's Run. 

On the 1 2th of April, 1861, Fort Sumter was 
bombarded, and evacuated by Major Anderson on 
the 15th. On this same day President Lincoln 
called for 75,000 men to suppress the insurrection. 
The next day the New York Legislature passed a 
bill, which was signed by Governor Morgan, ap- 
propriating three million dollars for the purpose of 
raising and equipping 30,000 volunteers. 

On the 1 8th day of April, or six days after the 
first shot was fired at Fort Sumter, the following 
notice was published in the Schenectady Daily 

^^ Attention Volunteers! — All young men who 
are in favor of forming a light infantry company 
and offering their services to garrison this State, or 
to the President of the United States, to aid and 
assist in defending the Constitution and Union of 
the United Stales against foreign or domestic 
foes, are requested to meet at Cleary's saloon, op- 
posite the railroad depot, on Friday evening, at 7^ 
o'clock, the 19th inst. This means fight, and all 
who sign must go. Wm. Seward Gridley." 

At the meeting held in response to this notice 
forty-seven men signed an application for a company 
organization, and asked Governor Morgan to com- 
mission Wm. Seward Gridley, Captain; Daniel 
Daley, First Lieutenant, and Fdward W. Groat, 
Ensign of said company. Gridley took the appli- 
cation to Albany, and received an order from the 
Adjutant-General to report at Albany with his com- 
pany for duty on the 2 2d day of April, 1861. In 
the same order Lieutenant Simon G. Smith, of the 

Twenty-sixth Regiment, New York Militia, was 
ordered to inspect and muster said company and 
to preside over an election of the officers. The 
muster and election took place on the 20th of 
April, when the same officers w^ere elected as 
Governor Morgan was asked to commission. 

In two days this company was organized and 
officered, and three days from the time of the call 
was ordered to report for duty at Albany. 

May 14, 1 86 1, the Eighteenth Regiment, New 
York Volunteers, was organized, and this company 
(then called the Seward Volunteer Zouaves) was 
assigned to that regiment as Company '*A." At 
this time it numbered seventy-four men and three 
officers. About sixty of the men were from 

May 17, 1 86 1, the Eighteenth Regiment was 
mustered into the service of the United States, and 
on the i8lh of June following started for Wash- 
ington, being one of the regiments in the first fight 
of Bull's Run. 

Captain Gridley was promoted to the rank of 
Major, October 14, 1862, and received at the close 
of the war the honorary title of Brevet Colonel, 
New York Volunteers. Daniel Daily was pro- 
moted to the captaincy of this regiment, November 
10, 1862, and was honorably discharged February 
26, 1863. Edward W. Groat was promoted from 
Ensign to Second Lieutenant, July 4, 1861, but 
resigned December 18, 1861. March 5, 1863, he 
became Major of the 134th Regiment. Joseph 
Strunk, who entered Gridley 's company as Ser- 
geant, was mustered out. May 28, 1863, as Second 
Lieutenant He was commissioned, December 
14, 1863, as Captain in the Second Regiment, Vet- 
eran Cavalry, and at the close of the war made 
Brevet Major, New York Volunteers. 

The second company organized in Schenectady 
was formed by Stephen Truax. The officers, who 
received their commissions May 2, 1861, were: 
Captain, Stephen Truax; First Lieutenant, William 
Horsfall; Ensign, John Vedder. This company 
was enrolled in the Eighteenth Regiment as Com- 
pany 'E," May 17, 1861 (same time as Captain 
Gridley 's company), for a term of two years. 
Captain Truax resigned December 27 of this 
year, and was succeeded in command by William 
Horsfall, who was killed while gallantly leading 
his company at Crampton Gap, Maryland, Sep- 
tember 14, 1861. John Vedder succeeded him as 
Captain, and remained in command until the 
company was mustered out of service. May 28, 
1863. Alfred Truax, who entered this company as 
Sergeant, was promoted to the rank of First 
Lieutenant, December 15, 1862. Andrew C. 
Barup became Second Lieutenant 

E. Nott Schermerhom, who enlisted in this 
company as First Sergeant, rose in succession to 
Second Lieutenancy, Firsf Lieutenancy, and be- 
came one of the Adjutants of the Regiment, No- 
vember 10, 1862, holding the latter rank when the 
regiment was mustered out. May 28, 1863. 

The Eighteenth Regiment was one of the first 
organized during the war, participating in the first 
battle of Bull's Run, Crampton Gap, West Point, 



White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fred- 
ericksburg, Salem Church and Savage Station. 
For a short time the late Dr. James L. Van Ingen 
was one of the Surgeons of this regiment When 
the time for which this regiment was mustered 
into service expired, the present Captain of the 
Thirty-seventh Company, National Guard, State 
of New York, George W. Marlelte, was the only 
private in the regiment who received from Gov- 
ernor Morgan, for gallant and meritorious service, 
the honorary rank of Brevet Lieutenant. 

William A. Jackson, a son of the late Professor 
Jackson, of Union College, was Colonel of the 
Eighteenth Regiment from the time of its organi- 
zation till his death from disease at Washington, 
November lo, 1861. William H. Young, an- 
other gallant soldier from Schenectady, was for a 
short time Lieutenant-Colonel of this regiment 

The third company formed in Schenectady was 
organized by Barent M. Van Voast, June i, 1861. 
The officers, who received their commissions July 
4, 1861, were: Captain, Barent M. Van Voast; 
First Lieutenant, Manse V. V. Smith; Ensign, Ed- 
ward Van Voast This company contained seventy- 
four privates and three officers. It was enrolled in 
the 30th Regiment as Company **C," for a term 
of two years from June i, 1861. 

Captain Van Voast was dismissed March 7, 1862, 
and succeeded by Manse V. V. Smith, who re- 
signed November 26 of the same year. Edward 
Van Voast became First Lieutenant May 13, 1862, 
retaining this rank when the company was mustered 
out, June 18, 1863. He afterward became Major 
in the 2d Regiment of Veteran Cavalry, and at the 
close of service of this regiment was made a Brevet 
Lieutenant-Colonel, N. Y. V. 

Charles Roth, who entered Company C as First 
Sergeant, was promoted to the rank of First Lieu- 
tenant March 4, 1863, and subsequently commis- 
sioned a Brevet Major, N. Y. V. 

The 30th Regiment, with which Company C 
was most honorably connected, participated in the 
battles of Gainesville, Groveton, South Mountain, 
Antietam and Fredericksburg. 

The fourth company formed at Schenectady was 
organized by Allen H. Jackson, who received a 
Captain's commission October i, 1861. This 
company consisted of eighty-seven members, in- 
cluding the officers. It was enrolled as Company 
G in the 91st Regiment for a term of three years, 
being mustered out of service July 3, 1865. The 
officers who were commissioned at the same time 
as Jackson were George W. Shaffer, First Lieuten- 
ant, and William Harty, Second Lieutenant 

Captain Jackson was honorably discharged from 
this company February 23, 1863, and promoted to 
the rank of Major in the 134th Regiment March 
4, 1863, he became Lieutenant-Colonel, and De- 
cember loth of the same year. Colonel of this regi- 
ment, but was mustered out of service June 10, 
1865, as Lieutenant-Colonel. George W. Shaffer 
succeeded Jackson as Captain of Company G. 
December 3 1, 1864, Shaffer was promoted to Major, 
6 1 St N. Y. Vols., and subsequently received the 
honorary rank of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, N. Y. V. 

William Harty succeeded Schaffer as Captain of 
Company G, December 24, 1864, and remained 
in command until the company was mustered out 
of service. 

Cornelius Gill entered this company as Second 
Sargeant, and was promoted through the succes- 
sive ranks to First Lieutenant, which latter position 
he held when the company was disbanded. 

Between the middle of August and the 3d of 
September, 1862, there were three military com- 
panies formed at Schenectady, which entered the 
service for a terra of three years. All three were 
enrolled in the 134th Regiment, and were known 
as Companies B, F and H. 

Company B was organized by David H. Ham- 
lin, who received his commission as Captain, Au- 
gust 17, 1862. At the same time Solyman G. 
Hamlin was commissioned First Lieutenant, and 
Solomon C. Wilson, Second Lieutenant This 
company numbered 102 men, and participated in 
many of the great battles of the war. Benjamin F. 
Sheldon was Captain of this company when it was 
mustered out Solyman G. Hamlin was promoted 
to Captain of Company C, March 7, 1 863. April 
7, 1865, he was made Major of the 19 2d Regiment, 
and mustered out of service August 28, 1865, 
with the honorary rank Brevet Captain, N. Y. V. 

Lucius Mead, who enlisted in Company B as 
First Sergeant, was promoted to a Lieutenancy. 
He was killed while bravely leading his company 
at the battle of Gettysburg. 

Company F was organized by Gilbert D. Ken- 
nedy, who was commissioned as Captain, August 
30, 1862. At the same time were commissioned 
George A. Turnbull as First Lieutenant, and Clin- 
ton C. Brown as Second Lieutenant 

Captain Kennedy was promoted to rank of 
Major, June 23, 1863, and died of disease at Phil- 
adelphia, August 3 of the same year. 

George A. Tumbul succeeded Kennedy as Cap- 
tain of Company F, but resigned February 3, 


Clinton C. Brown was promoted to Captain, 
April 14, 1863, and to Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
134th, July 27, 1864. 

Company H was organized by Austin A. Yates, 
who received his commission as Captain, Septem- 
ber, 1862, with Gerardus Canley as First Lieuten- 
ant and Marcus A. Herrick as Second Lieutenant 
Captain Yates was discharged June 10, 1863, on 
account of defective eyesight, but re-enlisted as 
Captain of Company F of the Fourteenth Veteran 
Corps. This regiment participated in the engage- 
ment against Early in front of Washington. Capt 
Yates was promoted to rank of Brevet Major by 
President Lincoln, and was assistant to Judge-Ad- 
vocate-General at Washington, D. C, one year 
subsequent to August, 1 866, when he was mustered 
out of service. 

William H. Mickle, who enlisted in Company 
H as Second Sergeant, was made Captain, April 
22, 1865. Barney S. Smith, another Sergeant, 
became Captain, February 28, 1865, ai>d was 
mustered out of the service as a Brevet Major, 
N. Y. V. 



The 134th Regiment, of which the three pre- 
ceding companies formed a part, participated in 
the battles of Chancel lorville, Gettysburg, Mis- 
sionary Ridge, Knoxville, Atlanta, Resaca, Dallas, 
Pine Knob, Lost Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, 
Savannah and Goldsboro. At the overthrow of 
the 1 1 th corps, on the afternoon of Saturday, May 
3d, at the battle of Chancellorville, the 134th was 
engaged in reconnoitering in the enemy's line and did 
not share in that terrible retreat, but took active 
part in the battle of the next morning. 

Companies **A" and ''I "of the 134 th were 
raised and credited to Schoharie County, yet both 
contained many Schenectady men. In company 
"A" Henry Y. Bradt, First Lieutenant, and the 
names of Garret Horsfall and Andrew A. Kelly are 
worthy of mention. In company * ' I, " Frank Fletch- 
er was Captain, who afterward became Chaplain of 
the regiment and was mustered out of the service 
as Brevet Major, N. Y. V. Albert G. Washburn 
entered this company as First Lieutenant and was 
promoted to Captain. He died in camp, near 
Falmouth, Va., Jan. 26, 1863. 

In company **I" Charles A. Ahreets enlisted as 
Orderly Sergeant ; by promotions, earned by gal- 
lantry, became Adjutant of the 134th, July 27, 
1864. He was killed while acting as assistant 
adjutant-general, in the siege of Savannah, Dec. 

i3» 1864. 

Edwin Forrest enlisted in company **B" of the 
134th as First Lieutenant, Dec. 2, 1862. Jan. 30, 
1864, he was made Captain of this company. He 
died from wounds received at the battle of Dug 
Gap, May 20, 1864. 

Thomas Forrest, a brother of Edwin, enlisted as 
Second Lieutenant in company '*F," of the 134th, 
and was promoted to First Lieutenancy, March 7, 
1 863. He was subsequently made Brevet Captain, 
N. Y. V. 

Among the Schenectadians who served with dis- 
tinction in the rebellion, whose names have not 
been previously mentioned, were A. Y. Carner, 
Henry Ramsey, Jr., JamesT. Joslin and A. Barclay 
Mitchel. Cramer was made Quartermaster of the 
134th, Oct 1, 1862. Ramsey entered this same reg- 
iment as a Lieutenant and was also made Quarter- 
master. Joslin and Mitchel entered the service as 
Lieutenants and were promoted to the rank of 
Captain, Joslin in the 134th and Mitchel in the 
1 8th. 

Although the 119th regiment was raised and 
organized in New York city, some of its best and 
bravest officers came from Schenectady. Indeed 
its first commanding officer was Col. Elias Peissner, 
a son-in-law of the late Prof. Tayler Lewis, of 
Union College. Col. Peissner was a brave and 
courageous officer, and after gallantly leading his 
regiment in a number of engagements was killed at 
the battle of Chancellorville, May 2, 1863. 

In company " B " of the 1 19th, Charles F. Lewis, 
a son of the late Professor Lewis, enlisted as Second 
Lieutenant, but was promoted in succession to the 
rank of First Lieutenant, Captain and Major. 

In company "D" of the 119th, Henry R. 
Schwerin, another Schenectadian, enlisted as Second 

Lieutenant He was promoted to First Lieutenant 
April 10, 1863, and was killed at the battle of 
Chancellorville, May 6, 1863. 

The 77th Regiment, although organized in Sara- 
toga County, contained a number of Schenectady 
men. In Company H of this regiment fully a 
fourth of the number were from this county. In 
this company David J. Caw enlisted as ist Ser- 
geant His worth and gallantry secured him rapid 
promotion. March 21, 1862, he was commis- 
sioned 2d Lieutenant ; September 23, ist Lieuten- 
ant ; December 10, Captain ; December 20, 1864, 
Major; and four days after, Lieutenant-Colonel, with 
which rank he was mustered out of the service, 
June 27, 1865. July 6, 1865, for gallant and mer- 
itorious services, he was commissioned Colonel by 
Governor Morgan. At the same date his brother, 
William E. Qiw, , who entered Company H as 
Corporal, received a commission as 1st Lieutenant 

The 77th Regiment, it will be remembered, was a 
part of the Sixth Corps, and accompanied the army 
of the Potomac through all its memorable cam- 
paigns, participating in the battles of Yorktown, 
Williamsburg, Golding's Farm, Savage Station, 
White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Crampton Gap, 
Antietam, Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, Get- 
tysburg, Wilderness, Rappahannock Station, 
Petersburg, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Fort Ste- 
vens, Opeguan, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. 

In the 2d Regiment of Veteran Cavalry, besides 
Edward Van Voast and Joseph Strunk, already men- 
tioned, were Charles W. Johnson, Albert Westing- 
house and Sherman A. Case. Johnson was pro- 
moted from a Lieutenancy to Quartermaster. 
Westinghouse was a Lieutenant in one of the com- 
panies of this regiment He was killed in action, 
December 10, 1864. Case also served as a Lieu- 
tenant, and was mustered out of service with this 
rank, November 8, 1865. 

Among the surgeons from Schenectady who en- 
tered the service during the civil war were: G. W. 
Van Voast, J. D. Jones, Alfred G. McDonald and 
William H. Hoag. Jones was Surgeon in the 2 2d 
Cavalry, McDonald in the 1 2th Cavalry and Hoag 
in the 134th Infantry. 

J. J. De Forest, a resident of the town of 
Duanesburgh, was Colonel of the 8 ist Regiment, 
raised in Oswego, during the war. (For further 
sketch of Mr. De Forest, see article on town of 

The I92d Regiment was composed principally 
of men who had already served one term of enlist- 
ment. This regiment was one of the last organ- 
ized during the war, having been mustered in the 
service in the fore part of the year 1865. No less 
than 133 in this regiment were from Schenectady, 
among whom was the late Solyman G. Hamlin, a 
brave and courageous soldier, who, as has been 
previously stated, was promoted to the rank of 
Major in this regiment 

The 831) Rkgimknt, for home protection, com- 
posed entirely of companies in the City and County 
of Schenectady, was formed April 27, 1863. It 
was comp^>scd of ten companies, and formed a 
part of the i8th Brigade, 5th Division, when first 



organized, but soon after was included in the 13th 
Brigade, 3d Division. July 23, 1873, it was re- 
duced to a battalion of six companies. It was 
disbanded January 17, 1874. 

The original officers of this regiment were : 
James Fuller, Colonel ; Robert Furman, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel ; John C. Bartrydt, Major ; Vedder V. 
Van Patten, Adjutant ; L. Dodge, Quartermaster ; 
J. O. Timberman, Surgeon ; Cornelius Van Sant- 
voord, Chaplain. 

Robert Furman was made Colonel, August 6, 
1864, and John McShea Lieutenant Colonel. 
Gershom Banker was made Major, July 12, 1866. 
Benjamin F. Sheldon was made Adjutant, June 20, 
1866, and Major, October 17, 1867. George W. 
Marlette was made Adjutant, January 4, 1868, and 
Major, May 27, 1871. John C. Perry became 
Major, December 29, 1869, and Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel, May 28, 1869. Michael H. Lamp was made 
Adjutant, September 22, 1871, and Edward H. 
Vrooman became Quartermaster, June 14, 1867. 
James D. Jones was at one time Surgeon, and 
Dennis Wortman, Chaplain. 

After the close of the war a company composed 
of army and navy veterans, called the Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Union, was formed, of which Major Ralfe 
Van Brunt was Commander. Some time after this 
company disbanded and formed the Schenectady 
Zouaves Cadet. Major Ralfe Van Brunt was its 
first Captain. He was succeeded by Captain Aus- 
tin A. Yates. This company existed for a number 
of years, when its name was changed to William 
Horsfall Post, No. 14. A. A. Yates, G. W. Mar- 
lette and William G. Caw were Commanders of 
this company at different periods. The name of 
this Post was subsequently changed to Edwin For- 
est Post, No. 90. G. W. Tompkins, James F. 
White, Frederick Eisenminger and James R. 
Reagles were at various times Commanders of this 
Post A few years ago the name of the Post was 
again changed to Post Hors&ll, No. 9, which name 
it still bears. The present Commander is James 
R. Reagles. 

At present there are but two military companies 
in Schenectady under the State Militia laws, the 
36th and 37th Separate Companies, N. G., S. 
N. Y. 

The Thirty-Sixth Company (Citizens* Corps) 
was mustered in the State Militia, July 12, 1880, 
for a term of five years, with 57 members. Its 
first officers were : Austin A. Yates, Captain ; 
Oscar Shannon, ist Lieutenant; Geo. W. Tomp- 
kins, 2d Lieutenant. Its present officers are : 
Austin A. Yates, Captain ; James F. White, ist 
Lieutenant ; James R. Reagles, 2d Lieutenant 
This company is composed of 65 members. 

The Thirty-Seventh Company (Washington 
Continentals) was mustered in the State Militia, 
with 5 1 members, at the same time and for a like 
period of service as the 36th. Its first officers 
were : Clinton C. Brown, Captain ; Nelson 
McDonald, ist Lieutenant ; Thomas Gregg, 2d 
Lieutenant. Captain Brown was succeeded by 
Walter S. Van Voast. Van Voast was succeeded 
by the present Captain^ Geo. W. Marlette. By the 

death of ist Lieutenant Nelson McDonald, Thomas 
Gregg was made ist Lieutenant and James H. 
Vedder 2d Lieutenant This company is com- 
posed of 65 members. 



It would be difficult for those acquainted with 
the present business interest of Schenectady to 
realize ils commercial importance during the colo- 
nial history of this State. 

Situated at the foot of navigation on the Mo- 
hawk, it had a frontage of twenty miles by road, 
subsequently reduced to sixteen miles by way of 
the Albany and Schenectady turnpike, between the 
Binnekill and Hudson river. From its fortunate 
position and subsequent improvements made in 
the channel of the Mohawk, it had direct com- 
munication by water with the chain of lakes in 
the interior of the State and with Lake Ontario 
and the St. Lawrence, and thus became the natural 
depot for the products of the far-stretching West 

To explain the obstacles overcome and the 
causes which tended to make Schenectady a center 
of commercial trade, it will be necessary to review 
some of the history of the earliest settlements in the 
New Netherlands. 

The first settlers in this region came here almost 
solely for the purpose of trade. Indeed, so intent 
were they upon the Indian traffic that agriculture 
was greatly neglected and barely enough form prod- 
ucts were raised to support the population at the 
trading posts. 

The first trading house was built by the United 
New Netherlands Company, on an island in the 
Hudson river, called Castel Eylandt^ in the year 
1 6 14. This island is now included within the 
limits of the City of Albany. 

The privileged West India Company was char- 
tened in 1621, with extraordinary powers of 
sovereignty and trade, and two years after erected 
Fort Orange, where Albany now stands. Here 
was the chief seat of the Indian trade, and where, 
in the business season, in June, July and August, 
the natives gathered in great numbers with their 
peltries. Until 1630 the two chartered companies 
above mentioned claimed and practically had a 
monopoly of the Indian traffic. Van Rensselaer, 
who had obtained possession of about 700,000 
acres of land around the fort in that year, claimed 
not only a share of the profitable beaver trade, but 
also the land on which Fort Orange stood. 
Not only did this result in the loss of a large 
revenue to the West India Company, but it was 
also found that the servants of the company made 
private ventures of their own, so that by 1639, 
when trade was nominally thrown open to all, the 
income of the company had very much diminished. 

111^652 Stuyvesant established a court at Fort 
Orange and Beverwyck. With this court came 
municipal rights, excise, taxes, civil officers and all 
the privileges thereto belonging, among which 
was claimed the monopoly of trade with the 



Every burgher (for outsiders were denied this 
privilege) who could purchase an anker of brandy 
or tub of beer, claimed and used his rights to trade 
for beaver and often forestalled the market by send- 
ing runners up the Mohawk to purchase the natives' 
peltries. Such was the condition of the Indian 
trade when the first settlement was made at Sche- 
nectady in 1662. 

The people of Fort Orange, plainly seeing that 
the location of Schenectady would make it a for- 
midable rival as a trading center, took precautions 
to defend their own market and protect themselves 
from competition. 

When the settlers of Schenectady applied for a 
patent to their teriitory, called by the Indian title 
the '* Great Flatt," from the Governor and Council, 
it was granted only on the condition that they ** pro- 
mise not to carry on or allow to be carried on at the 
aforesaid Flalt or thereabout any the least hatuie- 
ling (trade) however it may be called." This arbi- 
trary prohibition, though for a lime apparently 
acquiesced in by the people, outraged their sense of 
justice and right. It soon began to be reported 
that these trade regulations were disregarded at 
Schenectady. Gov. Lovelace in 1669 issued an 
order prohibiting such trade, and in 1671 issued 
orders to Capt Sylvester Salisbury, Commander of 
the fort at Albany, to search the houses in Schenec- 
tady whose occupants were suspected of trading 
with the Indians. But proclamations and orders 
against the offending town seemed unavailing, as 
neither the orders of the Council nor proclama- 
tions of the Governor served to effectually restrain 
the people from engaging in traffic with the Indians. 

Albany was chartered as a city in 1686, before 
which time, though claiming a monopoly of the 
Indian trade, the magistrates were powerless to 
pass ordinances for its regulation, but operated 
through the Governor and Council. 

Immediately after the granting of the charter, 
however, the common council passed ordinances 
claiming for such city the sole monopoly of the 
trade with the Indians, and prohibiting any traffic 
with the Indians outside of the walls of Albany. 
But these exclusive ordinances did not have the 
effect of confining the trade to the city of Albany. 
Much legal difliculty grew out of this attempted 
enforcement, until the year 1727, when the arrest 
and conviction of a citizen of Schenectady, sus- 
pected of Indian trading, was contested in the 
Supreme Court, which legal contest resulted in the 
final acquittal of the suspected persons and freeing 
Schenectady from the authority of those hateful 
ordinances that had fettered its trade for more 
than fifty years. 

After 1727, by the decision of the highest court 
in the province, trade was made free. With free 
trade came traders, and the flow of emigration be- 
gan to go westward. Settlements were made on 
the upper Mohawk and along the Schoharie, which 
greatly increased the volume of trade at Schenectady. 
Better roads were made from Albany to the fool of 
navigation in this city, as aiding to the impediments 
in the lower Mohawk. Schenectady was always the 
best place of departure, while the distance from 

Albany was little, if any, greater than points lower 
down the stream. 

Up to about the year 1 740 the early settlers used 
the largest sized Indian bark canoes for transport- 
ing their merchandise. They were very light, and 
capable of carrying considerable cargo. One or 
two men, sitting in the bottom, propelled the 
little vessel by paddles, and at rifts or shallow 
places waded, and pushed or pulled it over. When 
water failed them, or the falls could not be over- 
come, the boat and cargo were carried around the 
portage, when navigation was again resumed. As 
there were many rifts or rapids in the Mohawk 
river to be overcome, navigation at this period was 
attended with great difficulties. The first of these 
impediments was a few miles above Schenectady, 
and was called Sixth Flat rift. Proceeding west, 
in succession came Fort Hunter ri/t, Caughnawaga 
ri/t, Keator's rift^ the latter having a fall of ten 
feet ; Brandjwine rift^ at Canajoharie, short but 
rapid ; Ehles rift, near Fort Plain, and the Little 
Falls, so called in comparison with the larger falls at 
Cohoes. At Litile Falls there is a descent in the river 
of forty feet in the distance of half a mile, up the 
current of which no boats could be forced ; so it 
became a portage, or carrying point, for both boats 
and merchandise, which were transported around 
the rapids on wagons, and when relaunched and 
reloaded, pushed on again. 

Gov. Burnett, one of the Colonial Governors of 
New York, in a report to the Lords of Trade, 
during the period of canoe navigation, estimated 
the number of canoes regularly engaged in the 
fur trade which came to Schenectady from 17 16 to 
1720, at about 30, and from 1720 to 1724 at about 

As settlements grew in the western part of the 
State the volume of trade increased to such an ex- 
tent, that about the year 1740 the Indian canoe was 
sui>erseded by the small batteau, a wooden vessel 
strongly braced with ribs, sharp at both ends, and 
generally manned by three men. They were pad- 
dled or poled, or towed by men along the bank or 
shallow places. 


Simms says, in his history of Schoharie County, 
speaking of the batteau : ** These boats were 
forced over the rapids in the rivers with poles and 
ropes, the latter drawn by men on the shore. Such 
was the mode of transporting merchandise and In- 
diarn commodities to and from the west for a period 
of fifty years and until after the Revolution. A 
second carrying place in use at an early day was at 
Fort Stanwix, from the beatable waters of the 
Mohawk ti> Wood Creek ; thence passing into 
Oneida Lake the batteau proceetied into the Os- 
wego River, and thence to Oswego on Lake Onta- 
rio, and to Niagara, or elsewhere on that lake, or 
the St Lawrence, as they pleased to venture," and 


after being carried around the Falls of Niagara to 
Chippewa, went uninterruptedly on to Detroit, 
their usual limit, and sometimes even to Macki- 

Bul after the Revolutionary War the tide of emi- 
gration set strongly westward, and that eneigeiic 
population required increased facilities for trans- 
portation and communication with the great Hud- 
son River and their old homes in the East, and 

Gen. Philip Schuyler, who at this dale was Sur- 
veyor-General of the Stale of New York, succeeded. 
with the aid of many citizens of Schenectady and 
its vicinity, in forming a corporate body, known as 
the Western Inland Navigation Company. This 
company was empowered to improve the channel 
of the Mohawk from Schenectady, ' and build 
canal and locks to Lake Ontario and to Seneca 

A canal was built at Little Falls, 4,752 feet long, 
of which 2,550 feet went through solid rock. 
Upon it were five lock?, with a total rise of 44i feel, 
A canal i\ miles long was constructed, with a lock 
at Wolf's rift, German Flats, while another canal 
at Rome, 1} miles long, connected the Mohawk 
with Wood Creek, On Wood Creek four locks 
were built, with a total depth of 25 feeL The 
chambers of the locks were 74 by 1 2 feet, and al- 
lowed boats of 32 tons to pass, but other impedi- 
ments limited boats to a burden of 10 to 11 tons. 
This work of the Inland Navigation Company was 
finished in 1797, and cost $400,000, of which the 
State paid $92,000. The great cost required high 
tolls. In 1808 the company gave up its rights 
west of Oneida Lake, and sold out to the Slate in 
1820 for$i52,7i8.52. 

These improvements opened not only a direct 
water communication from Schenectady to Lake 
Ontario and the St. Lawrence, but permitted the 
use of larger and more serviceable boats. 

To meet the demands of an increased trade, made 
possible by better facilities, a boat called the 
Durham was constructed, a craft which carried a 
fair cargo, and which held its own until the Erie 
Canal sounded the death knell of the Mohawk 
river as a navigable stream. This style of boat is 
said to have been first used on Long Island. 

"The Schenectady Durham," says Prof. Pear- 
son in his history of the Schenectady Patent, " was 
the pride of the place, and extensive boat->-ards 
were employed in construction and repairs of these 
crafts, which were roughlj- treated by the boulders 
on the many rifts and landing places," 

This gallant craft was constructed something in 
shape like the modem canal boal, broad, flat-bot- 
tomed and straight' sided, with easy lines at bow 
and stern to help her flotation on striking a rapid. 
Her carrying capacity ranged from eight to twenty 
tons. A mast was placed near the bow and 
equipped with square sails. 

When wind and tide were favorable these Durham 
boats sailed easily, but owing to the crookedness 
of the channel and ils shallowness, this was only 
for very short distances. The main reliance was on 
the pole or tow-line. 

In the cut a boat is seen forcing a "rift," and the 
crew (usually numbering five or six men) are wad- 
ing and pushing the craft through the pass. Light 
boats could go from Schenectady to Fort Stanwix 
and back in nine days, but ihe larger boats required 
fourteen days to make the trip. 

Durham Boat. 

As the country grew in population, and more 
especially after the Revolution, the traffic on the 
river grew to immense proportions, A stone tram- 
way was built at enormous cost by the Albanj' 
and Schenectady Turnpike Company, to ex- 
pedite the hauling of goods to the harbor on the 
Binne Kill, which in time was lined with balteaux, 
and as late as 181 z as many as fifty Durham boats 
would lay in this port, loading or discharging 

Most of these boats used on the Mohawk and 
western waters were built at Schenectady. It 
formed one of the most important business interests 
of the place. 

The boat-yards were located on what is termed 
the Strand street on the river, then much 
wider than now, owing to encroachments and 
other causes. It was no uncommon sight, says 
Judge Sanders, in his history of this county m » 
the war of 1812, to sec from twenty-five to 
one hundred boats on the slocks at the boat- 
yards, extending from near the Mohawk bridge to 
North street 

The boats that conveyed the army of General 
Wilkinson dov n the St. I.awrence were all built at 
this place, the oak forests of our common lands 
furnishing the requisite material. The principal 
boat builders were the Van Slycks, Marselises, 
Veeders and Peeks. 

Time has wrought so many changes in this city 
that il seems difficult to picture the scenes of busy 
activity, wilh the extensive tthar\-es, freighting 
establishments, and storehouses which lined the 
Main Binne Kill previous to the year 1819. At 
this date a destructive fire occurred, which com- 
pletely destroyed this portion of the city, which 
never again recovered ils business, mercantile or 
commercial importance, for the contemplated con- 
struction and subsequent completion of the Erie 
Canal removed the business seal of our city to its 
present location. 

"Previous to the fire of 1819," says Judge 
Sanders, " the Mohawk river above the bridge was 



a broad, deep stream, upon which Durham boats, 
carrying sails like an Albany sloop and from eight 
to twenty tons of freight, glided, often under full 
sail, to or from our then deep and commercial 
Binne Kill, the miniature golden horn of our 

At this wharf were the warehouses of the freight- 
ing firms of Yates & Mynderse, Jacob S. Glen & 
Co., Stephen N. Bayard, Walton & De Graff, 
Lusher & McMichael. Some idea of the bus- 
iness done may be gathered from the fact that 300 
families derived their support by carrying in 
wagons the freight from the storehouses in Sche- 
nectady to the City of Albany. 

The first daily line of boats used for carrying 
passengers was established by Eri Lusher, in 1 8 1 5. 
They were constructed after the model of the Dur- 
ham boat, with cabin in midship, carefully cush- 
ioned, ornamented and curtained, expressly calcu- 
lated for and used to carry from twenty to thirty 
passengers at a time. They ran between Sche- 
nectady and Utica, making the passage between 
the two places down the river in about thirteen 
hours, and up the river, with favorable winds and 
high water, within two days. 

But we are now coming to the period when the 
completion of the Erie Canal, the greatest work of 
internal improvement in the interest of commerce 
ever accomplished in this country', began to play 
an important part in the commercial interest of 
Schenectady. It was commenced in 1817, but 
was not completed until the year 1825. 

It is a fact not generally known that the route of 
the canal through this city is entirely different from 
the course as first laid out by the projectors. The 
original route was along the Binnekill, near the 
business portion of the city. Work had even been 
commenced upon it when, mainly through the 
personal efforts of Resolved Givens, proprietor of 
a hotel which stood near or on the site of the present 
Givens Hotel, the canal commissioners were per- 
suaded to change the course to the present route. 
Resolved Givens was the father of William C. 
Givens, of this city, and a man of considerable in- 
fluence at this date. The construction of the canal 
through the central part of the city, together with 
the destructive fires already mentioned, decided the 
fate of the lower part of the city as a business 
center, and this section lost forever the commer- 
cial importance it had enjoyed for so many years. 

Navigation on the canal has not undergone much 
change since the early part of its history. The 
boats of to-day are very similar in appearance, al- 
though much larger than those used in the early 
days of canal navigation. As first constructed, the 
canal was about forty feet wide and four feet deep, 
but in 1835 the work of enlargement began, which 
was not completed until 1862, costing over $36,- 
000,000. The present dimensions of the canal are 
seventy feet in width and seven feet in depth. 
These improvements in the channel of the canal 
have permitted the use of boats at the presont^ay 
of the carrying capacity of 300 tons," while the 
original boats were only able to carry about ninety 

The motive power remains substantially the 
same as when the canal was first opened, most of 
the boats being propelled by the use of horses. 
Steam power has only been used since a compara- 
tively recent period, and although it is a sub- 
ject of much discussion among canal men, and 
great improvements have been made, it is a system 
of canal navigation not generally used. 

The completion and successful operation of the 
Erie Canal gave rise to similar ones elsewhere, and 
was of vast benefit to the whole country, and to- 
day, notwithstanding the rapid transportation of 
merchandise by our great systems of railroads, it 
continues to be the channel of a wonderful outflow 
of the agricultural products of the West to the sea- 
board, and the inflow of the merchandise from the 
Atlantic j)orts to the interior. 

Until the completion of the railroad the Erie 
Canal was much used for carrying passengers. 
Boats used for this purpose were called packets. 
Even before the entire canal was finished portions 
of it, as completed, were used. As early as May 
31, 1824, a boat named Schenectady commenced 
to make trips from Albany to Schenectady; leaving 
Albany in the morning at nine o'clock, it reached 
Schenectady about noon, and then would start on 
a return trip on the following morning. 

The traveling done on the packet boats was an 
important feature of the early navigation of the 
canal, and a great number of boats were used ex- 
clusively for this purpose along its entire length, 
yielding a large income. Up to the year 1857 
these boats were built and used upon the canal for 
this purpose, but since this date they have been 
entirely discarded, having been completely super- 
seded by the railroads. 

Since 1857 the canal has been used exclusively 
for carrying merchandise, and during the year 1872 
(the year before the great depression in the busi- 
ness of the country began) the value of the prop- 
erty that was transported on the canal was 1 168,-. 
000,000, notwithstanding a two-track railway 
carrying an immense amount of freight was laid 
parallel to it in its entire length. 

The future of this great thoroughfare, of such 
untold benefit to the early development of this 
country, cannot be foretold in this period of rapid 
growth of our vast western territory. But it would 
seem that the slow method of canal transportation 
must be improved by new and more rapid meth- 
ods of locomotion or ultimately give way to the 
demands for a more speedy transportation. 


In the early histor)' of this country, means of 
communication and facilities for traveling from 
one place to another were attended not only with 
great expense, but with difficulty and danger. 
Until the completion of the Erie Canal, and the 
limited facilities the Mohawk offered, traveling to 
and from Schenectady was done by the slow, te- 
dious and wearisome stage coach. 

Communication from New York to the interior 
prior to the revolution was a matter of the greatest 
diflicully, and only attempted in cases of most urg- 



ent necessity, usually taking three weeks to make 
the round trip. So slender were the facilities and 
resources of the country that the first mail ever re- 
ceived at Schenectady was on the 3d day of April, 
1 763, more than one hundred years after the pat- 
ent was granted. 

Prob?ibly the first regular stage started by a 
Schenectadian was run by Moses Beal in May, 
1793- It ran from Albany to Schenectady, Johns- 
town and Canajoharie once a week. The fare was 
three cents a mile. The success of this enterprise 
was so great, that John Hudson, keeping the 
Schenectady Coffee House, on the southwest cor- 
ner of Union and Ferr>' streets, now the property 
of Madison Vedder, Esq., soon afterward estab- 
lished a line of stages to run from Albany to Sche- 
nectady three times a week. John Rogers, of 
Ballston, ran a line from that place to connect 
with it, by which a regular communication was 
first established for the convenience of those who 
visited the springs. The fare was one shilling to 
Schenectady; those that continued through were 
charged three-pence per mile. 

In 1794 there were five great post routes cen- 
tering in Albany — ^the first to New York, the 
second to Burlington, Vermont; the third to Brook- 
field, Massachusetts; the fourth to Springfield, 
Massachusetts; the fifth route was by the way of 
Schenectady, Johnstown, Canajoharie, German 
Flats, Whitestown, Old Fort Schuyler, Onondaga, 
Aurora, Scipio, Geneva, Canandaigua, and subse- 
quently extended to Buffalo. The mail on this 
route was carried once in two weeks. Thomas 
Powell, Aaron Thorpe and Asa Sprague, of Sche- 
nectady, were leading proprietors of this last route, 
under whose management its business grew to im- 
mense proportions, *'so much so," says John San- 
ders, ** that during the war of 18 12, it was no un- 
common sight to witness from eight to twelve 
stages on the Scotia dyke, leaving or entering Sche- 
nectady at one time; and in one instance the 
writer counted fourteen in a continuous line.' 

The fare from Schenectady to Canajoharie was 
fourteen shillings, returning twelve shillings, av- 
eraging four cents per mile. Four cents was the 
average fare per mile on this route. 

In 1795 John Hudson ran two stages, one of 
four horses and the other of two, dailv between 
Albany and Schenectady, and in March of the next 
year Ananias Piatt went upon the same line, mak- 
ing four trips a day. At this time there were four 
public places on the stage line between Schenectady 
and Albany: Truax's, four miles from Schenecta- 
dy; Down's, nine miles; McKown's, eleven miles; 
and Humphrey's, fourteen miles. 

In 1823, Thomas Powell, of this city, com- 
menced running daily stages from Schenectady to 
Troy, fare seventy-five cents each way. From a 
Schenectady newspaper of May i, 1823, we find 
at the close of the advertisement announcing the 
new enterprise, the following quaint notice: 

'* N. B. — As this is an establishment entirely 
new, it is not likely to be very profitable at first; 
but the proprietor hopes in time, with the assist- 
ance of his friends, to make it a great accommo- 

dation to the public, and merely asks a remunera- 
tion for necessary expenses." 

In 1825 another daily line was started between 
Schenectady and Troy, and the fare reduced to 6^ 
cents. This includes all the stage lines of impor- 
tance which had headquarters at Schenectady of 
which we have any authentic account. The open- 
ing of the canal in 1825 did away with a greater 
pait of this business in Schenectady, while the 
completion of railroads closely following sup- 
planted it entirely. Its tired horses and tired men 
have been superseded by the iron horse that never 


No event in the history of Schenectady has done 
more to give this ancient city renown abroad than 
its connection with the enterprise which result- 
ed in building the first steam passenger railway in 
the world. True, in 1783 a railroad was construct- 
ed in France, but it was a crude affair and used 
only for the transportation of coal. The era of 
successful operations for the transportation of pas- 
sengers upon railroads by locomotives propelled by 
steam dawned a little more than half a century 
ago, and the fine plain between Schenectady and 
Albany was the theater of the first genuine passen- 
ger railroad ever built in the world. 

Mr. George W. Featherstonhaugh, an honored 
and influential citizen of Schenectady, and the 
father of Geo. W. Featherstonhaugh of this city, was 
one of the first projectors of this enterprise. As 
early as 18 12 a pamphlet was published explaining 
the superior advantages of railways and steam car- 
riages over canal navigation. In 1825, a writer in 
the Albany Argus urged upon capitalists the abso- 
lute necessity of their building a railroad from 
Albany to Schenectady, under the questionable 
plea that it was the only course to take to prevent 
Albany going to decay through the rivalry of Troy. 

Mr. Featherstonhaugh, in a letter to the 
Mayor of Albany, said the transportation of prop- 
erty from Albany to Schenectady was seldom 
effected in less than two, and sometimes three, 
days. By railroad, he argued, the communication 
between the same points could be made, in winter 
and summer, in three hours, at no greater cost 
than by canal, paying for sixteen instead of 
twenty-eight miles. He regarded this experiment, 
which he believed to be practical, as a test whether 
this economical mode of transportation would suc- 
ceed in this countr}'. 

The project was brought before the Legislature 
early in the session of 1826, and a bill to incorpo- 
rate the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad introduced. 
On the loth of March the bill was discussed in the 
Assembly. It is amusing to read the novel argu- 
ment, advanced by the men of that day, both pro 
and con, in regard to the project. 

The bill passed the Assembly on the 27th of 
March, 1826, incorporating the company, with a 
capital of $300,000, with liberty to increase it to 
$500,006, and a duration of fifty years, limiting 
the time for construction to six years. Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, known as the old patroon, of 
Albany, and George W. Featherstonhaugh, of this 



city, were the only persons named as directors in 
the charter. 

On the 26th day of June of this year books were 
offered for subscription to the stock of this road, 
and the stock was eagerly taken up by capitalists ; 
but for some cause the company moved slowly, 
for more than four years elapsed before the road 
was begun. 

On the 29th of July, 1830, the ceremony of 
breaking ground for the Mohawk and Hudson 
Railroad took place near Schenectady with a silver 
spade by Stephen Van Rensselaer. In September 
it was announced the stock had risen ten per cent. , 
and the editor of the Albany Daily Advertiser pre- 
dicted that trains would run from Albany to Sche- 
nectady in a quarter of an hour, and reach Utica 
from Albany in four hours. The latter was a 
somewhat startling prediction at this time, when we 
consider that the utmost exertions of the stages 
barely overcame the distance in twelve hours. 

By the 25th of July, 183 i, twelve months from 
the time when the ceremony of breaking ground 
was performed, the road was completed from the 
junction of the Western turnpike and Lydius 
street, Albany, to the brow of the hill at Schenec- 
tady, a distance of twelve and a half miles. Some 
defects in the first locomotive used, called the De 
Witt Clinton, prevented a trial before the 3d of 
August On this day a trip was made in one hour 
and forty-five minutes, and on the loth they ran 
two trains each way, with coke as fuel, making a 
part of the trip at the rate of thirty miles an hour. 

The passenger cars were simply stage coach bodies 
placed up>on trucks for temporary use, affording 
seats for fifteen or eighteen peisons. August 13 a 
large company assembled to take a trip on the 
railroad, but the De Witt Clinton engine, built at 
the West Point foundry, in New York, proved de- 
fective in her boiler, and was returned for repairs. 
At this trial, and in previous ones, coal or coke 
had been used for fuel, but wood was finally 
adopted. On the 9th of September the De Witt 
Clinton was again put uj)on the rail, and succeed- 
ed in drawing a train over the road in forty-five 
minutes. It was not till the 2 2d of September 
that the directors advertised to take passengers, 
although city officials and other dignitaries had 
passed over the road both by steam and horse 
power early in August The road was still uncom- 
pleted and used only fi*om the junction, as it was 
called, two miles from the foot of State street, in 
Albany, from where passengers were taken to the 
train by stage coaches. The other terminus of the 
road was still at the bluff overlooking Schenectady, 
where passengers were again transferred to stages. 
The distance traversed was less than thirteen miles. 

The precise time when the directors of the road 
felt prepared to crown the success of their labors 
by a grand excursion, was the 24th of September, 
1831. To this demonstration, by invitation, came 
the State and city officials and a number of emi- 
nent citizens of New York. The train, drawn by 
the De Witt Clinton, started off with three cars and 
returned with five cars, making the return trip in 
thirty-five minutes. 

In January, 183 a, the company reported to the 
Legislature that the amount actually paid and dis- 
bursed in the construction of the road was $483,- 
215, and that $156,693 would be required to com- 
plete it 

In the spring of 1832 the road was completed 
throughout its whole line, and the inclined plane 
being in working order, another grand excursion 
was given on the 14th of May, extending from the 
foot of Gansevoort street, Albany, into the heart 
of Schenectady. The cars were drawn up the in- 
clined plane by means of a long rope attached to 
them and to a stationary engine at the top, the 
whole steadied and balanced by a car loaded with 
stone descending on the opposite track. This 
same ceremony was obser\*ed at both terminations 
of the road, occupying much time. The same 
style of coaches were still used. In the fall of this 
year a new pattern of car was built at Schenectady, 
more nearly like those now in use, the architecture 
of which was modeled from Dr. Nott's parlor stove, 
and was called the Gothic car. 

In 1 84 1 the inclined planes at both ends of the 
roads were done away with, and locomotives were 
used on the whole length of the road. The suc- 
cess of this road, and the advantages of this means 
of communication, although rudely constructed at 
great and much needless expense, became so ap- 
parent, that within three years railroads, duly char- 
tered by law, were projected in every part of the 

* The next railroad built in this section was called 
the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, and ran 
from Schenectady to Saratoga. This company was 
formed February 16, 1831, and the road was com- 
pleted and in operation in 1832. This road is 
now leased and operated by the Rensselaer and 
Saratoga Railroad. 

In 1835 the Utica and Schenectady road was 
constructed, and in 1843 the Schenectady and 
Troy branch was built. 

It will be seen at this early date in the history of 
railroads in this country that Schenectady enjoyed 
facilities for communication by rail equal to, if not 
surpassing, any place in the State. 

In 1853 a company was formed by consolidating 
all the railroads then in operation, and some pro- 
jected roads between Albany and Buffalo, called 
the New York Central Railroad. This consolida- 
tion included the Mohawk and Hudson, the Sche- 
nectady and Troy, and the Utica and Schenectady 
Railroads. The act allowing the consolidation 
was passed April 2, 1853, and carried into effect 
May 17, 1854. This road runs from Albany to 
Bufialo. It was finished and in operation in 1855. 

In 1869 this company consolidated with the 
Hudson River road, running from Albany to New 
York, under the corporation name of the New York 
Central and Hudson River Railroad, thus o()ening 
a road, under the management of one company, 
extending fr^)m the great lakes to the Atlantic 

In 1874 this road from Albany to Buflfalo was 
increased from two tracks to four, making it the 
only four-track road in the United States. 



In 1869 the Schenectady and Duanesburgh road 
was incorporated, with a capital of $150,000, and 
completed 1873. It runs from Schenectady to 
Quaker Street, and connects at the latter place wiih 
the Albany and Susquehanna road. 

In 1866 a road called the Athens Branch was 
constructed. It runs from Athens to Schenectadv, 
and is now owned and operated by the New 
York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad. 

In 1883 the New York, West Shore and Buffalo 
Railroad was constructed, and runs through the 
western portion of Schenectady County, having a 
station at "South Schenectady," about two and a 
half miles from the city. 

This completes but a necessarily brief account 
of the railroads in Schenectady County, which to- 
day form the most important business interest of 
this ciiy, which can almost lay claim to the proud 
distinction of having been the birth-place of the 
great railway system of the world. 


Reuben S. Allex, the hale and hearty old gen- 
tleman whose features are shown in the accom- 
panying engraving, was bom in Burlington, Vt, 
in 1823. When a young boy he was apprenticed 
to Gay & Edwards, of Winouski Falls, to learn the 
machinist's trade, and readily grasped the details of 
the business. ^Tien he was about seventeen, he 
was sent by Mr. Gay to Canada, to ride for a 
month on a locomotrre engine plying on a rail- 
road from St John to La Pfarie, to study its work- 
ings. This attracted his attention to locomotive 
engineering, which he was destined to make his 
life work. At the time Mr. Allen began learning 
his trade, the science of steam motive power had 
progressed so little, that there was scarcely a steam 
engine in the State of Vermont, and during suc- 
ceeding years, Mr. Allen set up many stationary 
engines in Vermont, New York State and else- 
where, in the meantime spending one year on the 
steamer ** Dodger," then plying on Lake Cham- 
plain. On March 1 1, 1846, he became a locomo- 
tive engineer, running an engine on the Whitehall 
and Saratoga railway. In 1850 he relinquished his 
place for a similar one on the N. Y. Central road, 
which he has kept ever since. During this time 
he has run engines named after every president of 
the road, beginning with Erastus Coming. In 
this long period Mr. Allen has never been injured, 
nor has a brakeman or passenger on his train re- 
ceived a scratch. Many notable persons have been 
carried by him, both on his regular trips and spe- 
cials. About twenty-five years ago he took the 
Russian fleet from Albany to Niagara in six and a 
half hours, the first time an engine ever ran so long 
a distance without long stops. In 1881, he ran 
William H. Vanderbilt's special train from Syracuse 
to Albany in the remarkable time of two hours 
and fifty minutes. Mr. Allen now runs the '* flyer," 
which leaves Albany daily for the West at 12:15 
P.M. In 1844, Mr. Allen married Miss Irene 
Taylor, and their union has been blessed with six 
children — five of them daughters. All these have 

married, and twenty-three little ones say '* grand- 
father " to the subject of our sketch. Mr. Allen 
has alwa}^ had good health, and still possesses an 
iron constitution. His present home is in Sche- 
nectady. Wben he retires, as he expects to do 
March 11, 1886, the fortieth anniversary of the be- 
ginning of his life on the locomotive, he intends to 
publish a book relating his varied experiences 
among railroad men and others. After that is 
finished, Mr. Allen says he "will go fishing ten 
years," after which he will be ready to go *'over 
the river." The veteran often receives letters from 
young engineers asking for advice, which he is al- 
ways ready to impart in his genial, whole-hearted 

Thomas Cox, son of Hugh Cox and Elizabeth 
Muir, was bom in Schenectady, December 14, 
1 81 8, his parents having come from Scotland two 
years previously. He is one of the oldest locomo- 
tive engineers in the State. 

Edwin Wemple was for many years one of the 
most trusted and skillful engineers of the New 
York Central Railroad, and is now retired fi-om 
active service with a competency. 


The first ferry was established, at a very early 
date in the history of Schenectady, at the north end 
of Washington street, and continued thereto 1768. 
Some time after it was removed to the north end of 
Ferry street, which, at the first, terminated at the 
fort, but this street was afterward carried through 
to the river, and was called New street This latter 
ferry was owned by the Borough of Schenectady, 
and, as far back as 1 795, was leased to Abram 
Oathout for £^0 per year. 

In 1790 there was a ferry at the foot of Ferry 
street, then recently opened to the river, as appears 
by a mortgage given by Sybrant Van Schaick to 
Adam S. Vrooman. 

In the year 1797 there were three ferries in 
Schenectady. The first, called the Upper Ferry, 
was at the foot of Washington street, and kept by 

ian Bapt Van Eps. The second was called the 
liddle Ferr>', was one mile below the Upper 
Ferry, and kept by Volkert Veeder. The third was 
called the Lower Ferry, situated a few rods below 
the Middle Ferry, and was kept by John Bapt Van 

The individuals who laid claims to the revenue 
received at the Upper Ferry were : Jan Bapt 
Van Eps, who owned the land on both sides of 
Washington street ; John Sanders, who owned the 
opposite bank; and Joseph C. Yates, who owned 
the land below Van Eps on the same side. 

A compromise was effected in this manner : 
Sanders collected all tolls from the country to the 
city, and Van Eps and Yates collected from the 
city to Glenville. There were two boats : one firom 
foot of Washington street, owned by Van Eps, 
and the other from Govemor's lane, owned by 
Yates. By compromise, the ferry rights of all 
persons were obtained by the Bridge Company, 

msroRr of the county of schenectady. 

when the Mohawk Bridge was constructed. In 
1805 this rerry was called " Van Eps' Ferr)-." 

The " Middle'Terry was discontinued about 1804, 
as the charter of the Mohawk Bridge Company 
passed the Legislature about this time, and provid- 
ed that no ferry should be within one mile of the 

The ' ' Lower Ferry, " being without the limits pro- 
vided in the bridge charier, was continued in various 

hands until some time in 185-, or until Volney 
Freeman built a bridge across the river at this 

The most western ferry in Schenectady County 
was established by Harmanus Vedder, twelve miles 
west of the city. It was called Vcdder's ferry until 
1835, whcnil was bought by John Hoffman, and the 
name changed lo Hoffman s ferry. It has borne 
this name ever eince, and is slili in operation. 




Probably the first bridge in Schenectady was the 
bridge over Mill (or Sand) Kil, on Water street. 
It was called the "Town Bridge" as early as 1701. 
It is doubtful if there was any bridge over this 
creek in Washington street until long after. 

As early as 1716 there was a bridge across the 
Sparrebaugh (or Sand Kil), three miles soutli of 
Schenectady, at or near the Brandywine Mill, on 
the old road to Albany. It was known as the 
Sparrebaugh Bridge. 

In 1736 there was a bridge over Poenlies Kil, on 
the " Bouwland,'' about two miles west of the city, 
called Johannes Teller's Bridge. In some old 
deeds it was also called the ' ' Third Bridge, " 

In 1767 there was a bridge across the Cowhom 
Creek, on Albany (now Stale) street. This was 
called John Baptist's Bridge. About this same 
date there was a bridge over Hansen (or Simon 
Groot's) Kill, on Wart (now Romeyn) street. 

But the first bridge of importance and worthy 
of much note was an elliptic or arched one, built 
at the foot of Slate street over the Mohawk. It 
was begun in 1797, and when nearly completed, 
the winter following, was upset by the wind, taken 
down, and rebuilt on piers in 1803. 

In 1808 was erected the original Mohawk Bridge 
across the river at the foot of Washington street. 
This was a suspension bridge ofelegant proportions, 
built of wood, 900 feet inlength. It was designed 
by the celebrated bridge architect, Theodore Burr, 
and was pronounced his best effort Its comple- 
tion December 6, 1808, was the occasion of a 

grand celebration in honor of the event. Gov, 
Tompkins, Stale Comptroller, and many other 
prominent men participated. 

This bridge, as remembered by most of our citi- 
zens, gives no idea of its early appearance of sym- 
melrj- and beauty. Its subsequent disfigurement by 
the addition of several piers, and an tinsighlly 
covering over the whole, may have added to its 
solidity and ultimate prcser\'ation, but certainly 
destroyed all its original elegance of design and 

The cut we insert of ihis bridge was produced 
from a photograph taken a short time before it 
was taken down, in 187 — . to make room for the 
present structure, which spans the river on the 
same piers, with but little alteration, upon which 
stood tlie old bridge, which had become for many 
years previously an object of curiosity to travelers 
and tourists, and the last of its kind in the United 
States. The present bridge was finished in 1874, 
at a cost of about t5o,ooo, and is owned by the 
town of Glenville, toll being collected of all non- 

In about 1855, as previously stated, Freeman's 
Bridge was erected bv Volney Freeman, who 
shortly after its construction became sole owner. 
Since the first bridge was built two other structures 
have been erected on the same site, caused by the 
deslruction oi the original bridges, either by natural 
decay or in consequence of floods. The present 
bridge was built in 1879-80, at a cost of $20,000. 
In 1875 the Freeman Bridge proptcrty was pur- 
chased by the town of Glenville, and is still owned 
by Ihis town. 



The aqueduct bridge, crossing the Mohawk at 
Rexford's Flats, was built by the State shortly 
after the construction of the canal aqueduct over 
the Mohawk at this place, about 1825. It was 
afterward purchased by the Rexford's Flats Bridge 
Company, and is still owned by this company. A 
new iron bridge is at present in course of construc- 
tion on this site. 


1 765-1798. 

The inhabitants of the township of Schenectady 
for more than a hundred years from its first settle- 
ment had enjoyed no civil privileges or political 
rights other than those appertaining to other towns 
in the province. 

During and subsequent to the French war, the 
town made rapid growth m population and impor- 

The commercial business, as has been stated, 
at this period had grown to immense proportions, 
bringing a large influx of foreign people to the 
town, and to properly rule and govern the place 
a stronger government was needed. The magis- 
trates and people were anxious to secure an in- 
dependent government, and in 1764 applied to 
Gov. Monckton for a city or a borough charter. 

In accordance with this petition, Lt-Gov. Colden, 
on the 2 2d of October, 1765, granted the inhabi- 
tants a borough charter, the second granted in the 
province. It was fashioned after an English model, 
with great care, formality and minuteness, worthy 
to be called a city charter. 

Schenectady was thus created a borough town, 
under the corporate title of the " Mayor, Aldermen 
and Commonalt}' of the Borough Town of Sche- 
nectady. " 

The following is a list of the first officers named 
in the charter : Isaac Vrooman, Mayor ; John 
Duncan, Recorder ; Jacobus Van Slyke, John 
Glen, Jr., John Sanders, Daniel Campbell, John 
Visger and John B. Van Eps, Aldermen ; Garrit 
Lansing, Rynier Myndertse, Ryer Schermerhom, 
Tobias Ten Eyck, Cornelius Cuyler and Hermanns 
^Bradt, Assistants ; Thomas Mcllworth, Town 
Clerk ; Christopher Yates, Treasurer or Chamber- 
lain ; Isaac Marselis and Isaac Swits, Assessors ; 
Barent S. Veder, Collector ; Richard Collins, 
High Constable ; Thomas Murray, Herman us 
Terwilliger, John Van Voast, Charles Dennison, 
James Dunlop and John Wasson, Jr., Sub-Consta- 
bles; and Alexander Campbell, Sergeant of the 
Mace. The mayor, recorder and town clerk 
were to be appointed, and were removable by the 
Governor and Council ; the aldermen and assist- 
ants, assessors, collectors and constables were 
elected by a plurality of voles of the freemen as- 
sembled yearly for that purpose on the feast day of 
St Michael the Archangel ; the high constable 
and chamberlains were named by the mayor and 
common council and the sergeant of the mace. 

The mayor or recorder, with three or more alder- 
men and three or more assistants, by the name of 
the "Common Council of the Borough Town of 

Schenectady," were to have power to make laws, 
ordinances, etc., for the good rule of the borough 
aforesaid, and the trade carried on there; for regu- 
lating the watermen and ferriage; for the preserving 
and selling the lands of Schenectady, etc., to re- 
main in force for twelve months. The freemen of 
the borough were to be such persons of lawful age 
as had been bom therein, or such as had resided 
therein ten years previously, or such as had that 
privilege granted by the common council ; and 
none but freemen were allowed to use any art, 
trade or mystery, or to expose for sale any manner 
of goods or wares at retail, under penalty of five 

It is doubtful if this very elaborate charter was 
ever carried into effect ; it was altogether too com- 
plicated a piece of machinery for the simple-minded 
burghers of Schenectady. The mayor, recorder, 
aldermen and assistants were called together the 
following December to hear it read and take their 
official oaths ; whether they ever met again or per- 
formed any acts under it is not known, no records 
being now extant of their doings. 

A fatal defect of this charter was, that it did not 
finally dispose of the dispute about the management 
of the common lands ; the trustees appointed 
under Arent Bradt's will did not relinquish their 
office and power to the new common council ; they 
still held and managed all the property of the 

Soon after this charter was granted, the contest 
for independence began with the mother country. 
All local differences were merged in this, and it 
was not until some years after the war closed that 
the dispute about the public lands of the town was 
settled and a new city charter obtained. 


The ** Father of Our Country" visited Schenec- 
tady at three different limes. The first occasion 
was soon after the revolutionary war, in the 
interest of the defence of the frontier. He was the 
guest of John Glen, who was then quartermaster 
of the department The second occasion was by 
invitation of the citizens of Schenectady. He, in 
company with Gen. Philip Schuyler, rode in a 
carriage from Albany, on June 30, 1782. He was 
received with great honor by the civil and military 
authorities, and a public dinner given him at 
a hotel then situated on the south comer of State 
and Water streets, one of the houses spared in the 
great fire of 1690. It was kept at the time by 
Robert Clinch, formerly a drum-major under Gen. 
Braddock, and well known to Gen. Washington. 
The principal citizens of the place dined with him. 

An address was made to Washington, to which 
he wrote the following reply : 

** To the Magistrates and Military Officers of the 
Township of Schenectady : 
** Gentlemen — I request you to accept my warm- 
est thanks for your affectionate address. In a 
cause so just and righteous as ours, we have every 
reason to hope the Divine Providence will still 
continue to crown our arms with success, and 



finally compel our enemies to grant us that peace, 
upon equitable terms, which we so ardently desire. 

** May you, and the good people of this town, in 
the meantime be protected from every insidious 
and open foe ; and may the complete blessings of 
peace soon reward your arduous struggles for the 
establishment of the freedoip and independence of 
our common country. George Washington. 

'* Schenectady, June 30th, 1782." 

The third visit was in 1 786, when Washington 
made a tour with Gov. George Clinton, Gen. 
Hand, and many other officers of New York as far 
west as Fort Stanwix. In passing through Sche- 
nectady, he stopped at the same hotel as on his 
former visit. 


The office of Supervisor in the State of New 
York is of very ancient origin. It existed in the 
Colonial period, during which time the duties of 
the office were confined to auditing the ac- 
counts brought against the county by town officers 
and others, electing County Treasurers, Law 
Officers and a Clerk — very ancient offices in this 
State. The Boards of Supervisors in the different 
counties are now legislative bodies, having the 
same relation to the counties that the Assembly 
has to the State. From time to time, since the 
organization of the government, their powers have 
been extended over local matters, until many im- 
portant local laws touching the interests of their re- 
spective counties had, and still have, their origin 
in them. 

The first Board of Supervisors met in the City 
Hall, situated on the corner of Union and Ferry 
streets, on the site of the present dwelling house 
of H. S. Barney. This building was owned by 
the city, and used for city purposes, till the or- 
ganization of the county, when suitable quarters 
in this building were given the county for the 
transaction of county business. The Board con- 
tinued to meet here until 1816, when the City Hall 
was sold to Union College, and a room was pro- 
vided in the present Union School building, then 
purchased by the city. Here the Board contin- 
ued to meet till the completion of the present 
Court House, in 1833, from which date the meet- 
ings of the Board were held in this building, till 
the present commodious quarters were provided in 
the County building on Union street in 1871. 

The First Board of Sitervisors for the coun- 
ty of Schenectady of which there is any record, 
met at the Court House in the city of Schenectady, 
on Tuesday, October 3, 1809, under the pro- 
visions of the Act of the State legislature, passed 
March 7, 1809, forming Schenectady County, 
which gave to this county all the rights, powers 
and privileges enjoyed by the other counties of the 

The Supervisors elected for this year were as fol- 
lows : Maus Schermerhorn, for First and Second 
wards ; Alexander McMichael, for Third ward 
(now Rotterdam) ; James Boyd, for Fourth ward 
(now Glenville) ; William North, for Duanes- 

burgh ; Lawrence Vrooman, for Niskayuna ; 
Alexander Murray, for Princetown. William North 
was chosen Moderator, Abraham Van Ingen 
Clerk, and Cornelius Z. Van Santvoord, County 

The salaries of Clerk and Treasurer were fixed 
at fifty dollars per annum. 

The following appears in the record of this 
year : 

** Resolved, that a reward of ten dollars be al- 
lowed for each and every wolf which shall be killed 
within this county, to be paid to the person or 
persons producing satisfactory proof to this Board 
that he or they have killed the same as aforesaid." 

We find in the record of proceedings for this year, 
and for a number of years following, that consid- 
erable money was paid to different persons under 
the provisions of this resolution. 

The contingent expenses this year were $361 . 2 1 ; 
S947.32 were returned to the city of Schenectady 
for repairs to Court House and Jail. The total 
tax levied was $2,417. II. The total valuation of 
real and personal estate of the county was $1,841,- 

1 8 10. — Supervisors — Simon A. Groot, First 
and Second wards ; Jacob Mabie, Third ward ; 
John A. Vrooman, Fourth ward ; John Young, 
Duanesburgh ; S. J. Van Antwerp, Niskayuna ; 
Alexander Murray, Princetown. 

The Board met April 28, at the Court House, 
and elected Alexander Murray, Moderator; and at 
the first meeting of the annual session, Oct. 2, 
Harmanus Peek was chosen Clerk, John Yates, 
County Treasurer, and Alexander G. Fonda, Coun- 
ty Physician. The latter appointment was the first 
ever made to this position. 

The total amount of tax levied this year was 


181 1. — Supervisors — Maus Schermerhorn, First 

and Second wards ; Jacob Mabie, Third ward ; 

John A. Vrooman, Fourth ward ; John Brown, 

Duanesburgh ; S. I. Van Antwerp, Niskayuna ; 

William Templar, Princetown. Tuesday, October 

1, Maus Schermerhorn was elected Moderator, 

Abraham Van Ingen, Clerk, and Cornelius S. Van 

Santvoord, Treasurer. 

The sum of S503. 1 1 was raised to reimburse the 
city of Schenectady for preparing a Court House 
and Jail for the use of the county; $800 was 
levied upon the freeholders of the city to pay a 
night watchman for guarding the city. 

The total tax levied this year amounted to 


181 2. — Supervisors — ^Jellis A. Fonda, First ward; 
Maus Schermerhorn, Second ward ; Harmanus 
A. Van Slyck, Jr., Third ward ; Jacob A. Vroo- 
man, Fourth ward ; John Brown, Duanesburgh ; 
Derick C. Groot, Niskayuna ; William Templar, 

The Board met October 6, and elected Maus 
Schermerhorn, Moderator, Abraham Van Ingen 
Clerk, and Cornelius Z. Van Santvoord, County 

The following sums were levied upon the city of 
Schenectady for this year : Support of poor, 



$3 1 5.00; night watch, $8cx).cx) ; surveying road, 
$8.75 ; expense of a road in Third ward, $142.53. 

The entire tax levied this year was $2,751.03. 

1 8 13. — ^Supenisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward ; Simon A. Groot, Second ward; Harmanus 
A. Van Slyck, Jr.. Third ward ; James Boyd, 
Fourth ward ; James Cantley, Duanesburgh ; 
Simon I. Van Antwerp, Niskayuna; William Tem- 
plar, Princetown. 

The Board met Tuesday, October 5, electing 
James Cantley, Moderator, Abraham Van Ingen, 
Clerk, and Daniel McDougall, County Treasurer. 

The contingent expenses of the county were 
$300.00; the total tax levied, $4,139.86. 

1814. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; John S. Schermerhorn, Second ward; H. 
A. Van Slyck, Jr., Third ward; James Bioyd, 
Fourth ward; James Cantley, Duanesburgh; Wil- 
liam H. Alexander, Niskayuna; William Templar, 
Princetown; Moderator, James Canly; Clerk, 
Robert Galley; County Treasurer, Daniel Mc- 
Dougall. This year $800 was levied on the city 
for expenses incurred in lapng out a road from the 
extremity of Washington street to the western 
bounds of the city. Total tax levied, $3,981.62. 

181 5. — Super\'isors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Cornelius Z. Van Santvoord, Second ward; 
Garrett S. Veeder, Jr., Third ward; James Boyd, 
Fourth ward; James Cantley, Duanesburgh; 
Derick Vedder, Niskayuna; Henry Fryer, Prince- 

The Board met October 3, and elected Cor- 
nelius Van Santvoord, Moderator, Robert Galley, 
Clerk, and Daniel McDougall, County Treasurer. 
A tax of $1,063.66 was levied against the county 
this year for common schools. The total tax 
levied this year amounted to $4,761.13. 

1 8 1 6. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Do we Clute, Second ward; Jacob Mabie, 
Third ward; Robert Sanders, Fourth ward; 
James Cantley, Duanesburgh; Simon I. Van Ant- 
werp, Niskayuna; James Combs, Princetown. 
Moderator, Simon I. Van Antwerp; Clerk, Henry 
V. Fonda; Treasurer, Daniel McDougall. 

On April 5 th of this year a special act of the 
Legislature was passed empowering the Board of 
Supervisors to convey to the city all the right and 
title to the lot and building thereon used as a Court 
House and Jail, in consideration of the cor- 
poration of the city granting to the Board suitable 
room in the edifice now occupied by the Union 
School, and which had been bought from the 
Trustees of Union College, in the year 181 2, for 
court, jail and all county purposes. 

Such exchange was consummated October 14th 
of this year. 

Total tax levied, $5,080.73. 

1 8 1 7. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Dowe Clute, Second ward; Harmanus A. 
Van Slyck, Third ward; James Boyd, Fourth 
ward; James Cantley, Duanesburgh; Harmanus 
P. Schuyler, Niskayuna; James Combs, Prince- 

The Board met October 7, and elected Har- 
manus Peek, Moderator, Henry V. Fonda, Clerk. 

The following is a rep)ort made by Gideon 
Hawley, principal assessor, and adopted by the 
Board of Supervisors, October 10, 1817: 

** Valuations of lands and dwelling houses in 
the seven towns and wards within the county of 
Schenectady, as determined by the principal as- 
sessor of the thirtcent]i collection district in the 
State of New York: 

** First ward, $245,335; Town of Niskayuna, 
$105,421; Second ward, $385,280; Town of 
Princetown, $140,850; Third ward, $179,750; 
Town of Duanesburgh, $448,205; Fourth ward, 

"The Board of Principal Assessors added two 
per cent, to the above valuations. *' 

Entire tax levied, $12,278.42. 

At this session of the Board a resolution was 
offered for the removal of County Treasurer Dan- 
iel McDougall; but it failed in being carried by 
one vote. Mr. McDougall then resigned his 
position, and Thomas B. Clinch was appointed 

1818. — Super\'isors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward ; Maus Schermerhorn, Second ward ; Fred- 
erick Bradt, Jr., Third ward; Henry Hogan, 
Fourth ward ; James Cantley, Duanesburgh ; 
Harmanus P. Schuyler, Niskayuna ; James Combs, 
Princetown. Moderator, Harmanus Peek; Clerk, 
Henry V. Fonda ; County Treasurer, Thomas B. 
Clinch. The total tax levied, $9,478.38. 

1 81 9. — Supervisors — Richard McMichael, First 
ward ; James Walker, Second ward ; Bar- 
tholomew Schermerhorn, Third ward ; Christian 
Haverly, Fourth ward ; Lewis Eaton, Duanes- 
burgh ; Harmanus P. Schuyler, Niskayuna ; 
James Combs, Princetown. Moderator, Har- 
manus P. Schuyler ; Clerk, Henry V. Fonda ; 
Countv Treasurer, Thomas B. Clinch. We find a 
spirit of friendship for educational privileges 
evinced by the members of this Board in granting 
the free use of rooms in the City Hall to the 
trustees of the Schenectady Academy for one year. 
Total tax levied, $10,699.10. 

1820. — Supervisors — Richard McMichael, First 
ward; James Walker, Second ward ; Bartholomew 
Schermerhorn, Third ward ; James Boyd, Fourth 
ward ; James Cantley, Duanesburgh ; Harmanus 
P. Schuyler, Niskayuna ; Isaac Wemple, Prince- 
town. Moderator, James Cantley ; Clerk, Henry 
V. Fonda ; County Treasurer, John S. Vroo- 

At this session of the Board, $100,000 of valua- 
tion was taken from the aggregate valuation of 
the First and Second wards in consequence of the 
destruction by fire of these wards during the pre- 
ceding year. 

182 1. — Supervisors — Henry Peek, First ward; 
James Walker, Second ward ; Peter Becker, 
Rotterdam ; Albert A. Vedder, Glenville ; James 
Cantley, Duanesburgh ; Harmanus P. Schuyler, 
Niskayuna; Solomon Kelly, Princetown. Mod- 
erator, Albert A. Vedder ; Clerk, Henry V. Fonda; 
Treasurer, John S. Vrooman. 

It will be noticed that at this time the city of 
Schenectady was divided into only two wards. 



April 14, 1820, by an act of the State Legislature 
the part of the city known as the Third ward was 
formed into a separate town called Rotterdam, 
while all that part of the city heretofore known as 
the Fourth ward was formed into the town of 
Glenville. The total tax levied this year was 


1822. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 

ward ; Abram Van Ingen, Second ward ; Har- 
manus A. Van Slyck, Rotterdam ; Peter H. 
Brooks, Glenville ; James Cantley, Duanesburgh ; 
Cornelius C. Van Vranken, Niskayuna ; Solomon 
Kelly, Princetown. Moderator, Abram Van 
Ingen ; Clerk, Archibald L. Linn ; Treasurer, 
John S. Vrooman. The amount of county charges 
this year, including $510.52 for contingent fund, 
was $2,751.55 ; State tax, $1,852.21. 

By an act of the State Legislature, passed April 
1 2 of this year, the Board of Supervisors, in con- 
junction with the Judges of Common Pleas, ap- 
pointed the Justices of Peace, and prescribed the 
number of coroners to be elected. The Board 
met for this purpose February 18, 1823. 

1823. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward ; Abram Van Ingen, Second ward ; John 
Pangbum, Rotterdam ; Cornelius S. Conde, Glen- 
ville ; Joseph Gaige, Duanesburgh ; Cornelius C. 
Van Vranken, Niskayuna ; Solomon Kelly, Prince- 
town. Moderator, Abram Van Ingen ; Clerk, 
Edward Yates; Treasurer, John S. Vrooman. 

The Board met with the Judges of Common 
Pleas October 7, 1823, in accordance with an act 
of the Legislature passed April 12, 1822, direct- 
ing the appointment of Commissioners of Deeds 
for the several towns of the county. Total tax 
levied this year, $8,134.54. 

1824. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; Peter 
Becker, Rotterdam; James Boyd, Glenville; Wil- 
liam A. S. North, Duanesburgh; Cornelius C. Van 
Vranken, Niskayuna; Solomon Kelly, Princetown. 
Moderator, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, Edward 
Yates; Marshal, Thomas B. Clinch ; County 
Treasurer, John S. Vrooman. 

Total tax levied this year was $9,327.53. 

1825. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; Zacha- 
riah Carpenter, Glenville; William A. S. North, 
Duanesburgh; Cornelius C. Van Vranken, Niska- 
yuna ; Peter Becker, Rotterdam. Abraham Van 
Ingen, Moderator; Edward Yates, Clerk; Thomas 
B. Clinch, Marshal; John S. Vrooman, Treasurer. 
From the records this year, the names of the fol- 
lowing incorporated companies in Schenectady 
County liable to taxation were returned to the 
State Comptroller: Mohawk Bank, Mohawk Turn- 
pike Company, Mohawk Bridge Company, Sche- 
nectady Manufacturing Company and the Schenec- 
tady Water-works Company. 

The total tax levied this year was $8,997.50; 
State tax, $1,016.39; school tax, 762.30; poor, 
$2,062.99; road and bridges, $515.59. 

Up to the present year the annual sessions "of 
the Board had been commenced on the first Tues- 
day in October. By an act of the LegislatyfQ/fals 

year the time was changed to the second Tuesday 
in November. 

1826. — Supervisors — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Abram Van Ingen, Second ward; Zach- 
ariah Carpenter, Glenville; Benjamin S. Knight, 
Duanesburgh; John Clark, Niskayuna; Abraham 
Dom, Princetown; Bartholomew Schermerhom, 
Jr., Rotterdam. Moderator, Abram Van Ingen; 
Clerk, Edward Yates; Marshal, Thomas B. Clinch; 
Treasurer, John S. Vrooman. 

At this session of the Board, the first report was 
presented from the superintendents of the alms- 

From the report of the superintendents we find 
that the total expense of the alms-house, from Au- 
gust I to October 30 of this year, was $321; num- 
ber of paupers, 38. 

The amount of tax levied this year, and for like 
purposes, was about the same as for the preceding 

1827. — Supervisors — Ezekiel Sexton, First ward, 
Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; Daniel Smith, 
Glenville; Benjamin S. Knight, Duanesburgh; 
John Clark, Niskayuna; William Templar, Prince- 
town; Bartholomew Schermerhorn, Jr., Rotter- 
dam. Moderator, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, 
Archibald L. Linn; Marshal, Thomas B. Clinch; 
Treasurer, John S. Vrooman. 

An appropriation of $500 was made for the erec- 
tion of a fire-proof County Clerk's office. 

The County expenses this year were $4,000. 

1828. — Supervisors. — Ezekiel Sexton, First ward; 
Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; 2^chariah 
Carpenter, Glenville; Abraham Pearse, Niscayuna; 
Ebenezer Knibloe, Duanesburgh; William Tem- 
plar, Princetown; Simon Schermerhom, Rotterdam. 
Moderator, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, Archibald 
L. Linn; Marshal, Thomas B. Clinch; Treasurer, 
John S. Vrooman. The County Clerk's office was 
completed this year at a cost of $1,000.00. It was 
built on the northeast corner of the Court House 

The first list of Grand Jurors was chosen this 

April 12, 1824, an act was passed by the Legis- 
lature relieving all persons from military duty who 
had conscientious scruples averse to bearing arms, 
by the payment of $4.00 as commutation money, 
such money to be applied to the support of the 

The names of the persons are given in the rec- 
ord of this year who availed themselves of the pro- 
visions of this act 

Total tax levied this year was $8,310.79. 

1829. — Supervisors. — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Abraham V^an Ingen, Second ward; Peter 
J^. Brooks, Glenville; Joseph Gaige, Duanesburgh; 
Abraham Pearse, Niscayuna; Solomon Kelly, 
Princetown; Simon Schermerhorn, Rotterdam. 
This was the first meeting of the Board when the 
presiding officer was called Chairman instead of 

Chairman, Abram Van Ingen; Clerk, Archibald 
L, Linn; Marshal, Thomas B. Clinch; Treasurer, 
John B. Clule. 



The total tax levied this year was $8,011.40. 

A special meeting of this Board was held March 
16, 1 840, to confer with the Common Council of the 
city, trustees of the Lancaster School, and a com- 
mittee appointed by the citizens of Schenectady, in 
regard to the sale of the City Hall and Court House 
to the State, for the purpose of a female penitentiary. 

It was agreed on the part of the Board to sell the 
City Hall and Court House for a sum not less than 
ten thousand dollars, provided that not less than 
eight thousand dollars should be paid to the Ik>ard 
toward the expenses of erecting a court house and 
jail and fire-proof clerk's office, and the furnishing 
of a room to the city as a common council cham- 

1830. — Supervisors. — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; Corne- 
lius S. Conde, Glenville; Joseph Gaige, Duanes- 
burgh; Cornelius C. Van Vranken, Niskayuna; Sol- 
omon Kelly, Princetown; Simon Schermerhom, 
Rotterdam. Chairman, Abraham Van Ingen; 
Clerk, Archibald L. Linn; Marshal, Lewis Finch; 
Treasurer, John B. Clute. 

The total tax levied was $10,176.98. 

183 1. — Supervisors. — Harmanus Peek, First 
ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; Robert 
Sanders, Glenville; Joseph Gaige, Duanesburgh; 
Abram Pearse, Niscayuna; Abram Dorn, Prince- 
town; Simon Schermerhom, Rotterdam. Chair- 
man, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, Archibald L. 
Linn; Marshal, John S. Ten Eyck; Treasurer, John 
B. Clute. 

A special act of the Legislature was passed April 
25th of this year, authorizing the Board of Super- 
visors and Common Council of the city of Sche- 
nectady to sell the Court House, Jail and County 
Clerk's office for not less than ten thousand dollars, 
the proceeds of such sale to be expended in the 
erection of a new court house and jail, the corpo- 
ration of Schenectady to be allowed the use of a 
room in the new structure for a common council 
chamber. Under the provisions of this act the 
then existing court house and jail could only be 
sold under the conditions that the same should be 
used and occupied for literary, scientific or religious 
purposes. By the powers jointly conferred on- the 
Board of Supervisors and Common Council, this 
property was sold, through Dr. Eliphalet Nott, to 
Union College, June 15, 1831. 

The location of the present Court House and 
Jail was selected, and the lot was purchased for the 
sum of $1,900.00, of Jacob and John Detlamont. 

The contract for building the Court House was 
let to John W. Teller, at the sum of $9,964.00. 

Total tax levied this year was $9,295.70. 

County tax, $4,900.00. 

1832. — Supervisors-rHarmanus Peek, First ward ; 
Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward ; Sidney B. 
Potter, Glenville; Joseph Gaige, Duanesburgh ; 
Abram Pearse, Niskayuna; David Murray, Prince- 
town; Harmanus A. Van Slyck, Rotterdam. Chair- 
man, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, Archibald L. 
Linn; Marshal, John S. Ten Eyck; Treasurer, 
John B. Clute. 

The entire tax levied was $1 1,691^7. 

i832.—Supervisors— Isaac M. Schermerhom, First 
ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; Peter 
H. Brooks, Glenville; David Wing, Duanesburgh; 
Morgan Strong, Niskayuna; Daniel Darrow, Prince- 
town; Harmanus A. Van Slyck, Rotterdam, 
Chairman, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, Archibald 
L. Linn; Marshal, John S. Ten Eyck; Treasurer. 
John B. Clute. 

Total tax levied this year was $11,744.22. 

Up to the present year the total valuation of the 
real and personal estate had remained at about the 
same amount since the organization of the county. 
This year it was increased nearly $1,000,000, being 

1834. — Supervisors — Isaac M. Schermerhom, 
First ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; 
David Ostrom, Glenville; Thomas Knight, Duanes- 
burgh; Abraham Pearse, Niskayuna; David Mur- 
ray, Princetown; Harmanus A. Van Slyck, Rotter- 
dam. Officers same as last year. 

Total tax levied this year was $12,589.77. 

1835. — Supervisors — Isaac M. Schermerhom; 
First ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward, 
Daniel Smith, Glenville; Thomas Knight, Duanes- 
burgh; Abraham Pearse, Niskayuna; David Mur- 
ray, Princetown; John B. Schermerhom, Rotter- 
dam. Officers same as preceding year. 

The total tax levied this year was $14,557.22. 

The following is each ward and town propor- 
tion of whole tax : First ward, $2,560.53; Second 
ward, $4,977.38; Glenville, $2,228.78; Duanes- 
burgh, $2,046. 14; Niskayuna, $537. 60; Princetown, 
$717.01; Rotterdam, $1,489.78. 

1836. — Supervisors — Isaac M. Schermerhom, 
First ward; Abraham Van Ingen, Second ward; 
Theodore W. Sanders, Glenville; Abraham Pearse, 
Niskayuna; James Smealie, Princetown; Jacob I. 
Schermerhom, Rotterdam. Officers same as for 
year 1834. 

At the session of the Board a final settlement 
was made between the city and the Board of Su- 
pervisors for building the Court House, the city 
agreeing to accept $1,250 in full settlement, $250 
to be paid this year, $500 next year and $500 the 
following year. 

Toial tax levied, $15,518.16. 

1837 — Supervisors — Giles F. Yates, First ward; 
David M. Moore, Second ward; Robert Sanders, 
Third and Fourth wards (wards formed from the 
Second ward); Robert Sanders, Glenville; Marvin 
Strong, Duanesburgh; Harmanus A. Van Slyck, 
Rotterdam; James Smealie, Princetown; Abraham 
Pearse, Niskayuna. Officers same as preceding 

Total tax levied, $16,733.64. 

1838. — Supervisors — Isaac Riggs, First ward; 
James C. Magoffin, Second ward; William Ander- 
son, Third and Fourth wards; Abner Smith, Glen- 
ville; Marvin Strong, Duanesburgh; Simon Scher- 
merhom, Rotterdam; William Gifford, Prince- 
town; Abraham Pearse, Niskayuna. Chairman, 
Abraham Pearse; Clerk, A. L. Linn; Marshal, 
Bartholomew C. Vrooman. 

The, lot where the present County Clerk's office 
is situated' was purchased this year by the Board 



from Alexander G. Fouder for $5CX5, and a com- 
mittee appointed to cause the erection thereon of a 
fire-proof Q)unty Clerk's and Surrogate's office, at a 
cost not exceeding $2,000. 

The total tax levied this year was $18,766.74. 

1839. — Supervisors — Isaac I. Yates, First ward; 
James C. Magoffin, Second ward; William Ander- 
son, Third and Fourth wards; David F. Rees, 
Glenville; Marvin Strong, Duanesburgh; Garrett 
Van Vranken, Niskayuna; William Gifford, Prince- 
town; Simon Schermerhom, Rotterdam. Chair- 
man, Marvin Strong; Clerk, James M. Bouck; 
Marshal, Cornelius J. Barhydt. 

The total tax levied this year was $19,984.09. 

1840. — Supervisors — Nicholas Hansom, First 
ward; James C. Magoffin, Second ward; Joel Phil- 
lips, Third and Fourth wards; David Ostrom, 
Glenville; Benjamin F. Wood, Duanesburgh; Pe- 
ter B. Noxon, Niskayuna; Alexander Clogston, 
Princetown; John P. Becker, Rotterdam. Chair- 
man, James C. Magoffin; Clerk, James M. Boiick; 
Maishal, Cornelius J. Barhydt. The brick build- 
ing on the east side of the almshouse was built 
this year. 

Total tax levied this year was $23,649.94. 

1 84 1. — Supervisors — Isaac I. Yates, First ward; 
James C. Magoffin, Second ward; James G. Van 
Voast, Ttiird and Fourth wards; Nicholas Brooks, 
Glenville; Benjamin F. Wood, Duanesburgh; Gar- 
ret Van Vranken, Niskayuna; Alexander Clogston, 
Princetown; Abram Warren, Rotterdam. Officers 
same as preceding year. 

Five hundred dollars was appropriated this year 
for the purpose of building school-houses in the 
city of Schenectady. Sheriff Mindert M. K. Wem- 
ple received the sum of fifty dollars for the execu- 
tion of Charles Cook, murderer of Mrs. Merry, a 
resident of the town of Glenville. The tax levied 
this year was about the same as last 

1842. — Supervisors — Sidney B. Potter, First 
ward ; Nicholas A. Vedder, Second ward ; Peter 
Rowe, Third and Fourth wards ; Jacob Carner, 
Glenville ; Benjamin F. Wood, Duanesburgh ; 
William Gordon, Princetown ; Grarrett Van Vran- 
ken, Niskayuna ; Abraham Warren, Rotterdam. 
Chairman, Abraham Warren ; Clerk, James M. 
Bouck ; Marshal, Cornelius J. Barhydt. 

March 28 of this year an act of the Legislature 
was passed creating the office of Police Justice of 
the city of Schenectady. The selection of this 
officer was duly delegated to the Board of Super- 
visors. Joseph H. Vrooman was chosen for this 
year. His salary was fixed at seven hundred dol- 
lars per year. The total tax levied this year was 

1843. — Supervisors — Simon C. Groat, First 
ward ; Nicholas A. Vedder, Second ward ; Peter 
Rowe, Third and Fourth wards ; Jacob Carner, 
Glenville ; Perry T. Briggs, Duanesburgh ; Mor- 
gan Strong, Niskayuna ; John W. Shannon, 
Princetown; Abraham Warren, Rotterdam. Chair- 
man, Abraham Warren ; Clerk, Benjamin F. 
Patten ; Marshal, Cornelius J. Barhydt. 

The amount of taxes levied this year was nearly 
$2,000 less than last year. 

1844. — Supervisors — Isaac Riggs, First ward; 
Samuel Myers, Second ward ; John G. Van 
Vorst, Third and Fourth wards ; Peter Sanders, 
Glenville ; Thomas Knight, Duanesburgh ; Abra- 
ham Pearse, Niskayuna ; John W. Shannon, 
Princetown ; James T. Wasson, Rotterdam. 
Chairman, Abraham Pearse ; Clerk, John Van 
Sanlvoord ; Marshal, Bassett Vedder. The total 
tax levied this year was $23,495.82. 

1845. — Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward ; John S. M. Barhydt, Second ward; Jabez 
Ward, Third and Founh wards ; Abraham W. 
Toll, Glenville ; Thomas Knight, Duanesburgh ; 
James R. Craig, Niskayuna ; Tames Donnan, 
Princetown ; James Allen, Rotterdam. Chairman, 
Thomas Knight ; Clerk, Benjamin F. Potter ; 
Marshal, O. S. De Forest The amount of taxes 
levied was about the same as last year. 

1846. — Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward ; John S. M. Barhydt, Second ward ; John 
I. Vrooman, Third and Fourth wards ; Adam C. 
Van Patten, Glenville ; Thomas Knight, Duanes- 
burgh ; James R. Craig, Niskayuna ; James Don- 
nan, Princetown ; Abraham N. Bradt, Rotter- 

Officers of the Board were the same as preceding 
year. $853.45 was expended on repairs at the 
almshouse. Total tax levied this year was 

1847. — Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward ; Nicholas Barhydt, Second ward ; John I. 
Vrooman, Third and Fourth wards ; Abraham 
Conklin, Duanesburgh ; Abraham W. Toll, 
Glenville ; William Van Vranken, Niskayuna ; 
James Templar, Princetown ; James P. Wasson, 
Rotterdam. Chairman, Martin De Forest ; Clerk, 
Benjamin F. Potter ; Marshal, O. S. De Forest 

Under an act of the Legislature, passed this year, 
the offices of Judge and Surrogate were combined, 
and the first election of a person to this office oc- 
curred this year. The Board fixed the salar)' at 
one thousand dollars. Total tax levied this year 

was $24,374.58. 

1848. — Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward; Peter Banker, Second ward; Joshua Bar- 
ker, Third and Fourth wards; Abraham Conklin, 
Duanesburgh; Reuben Ell wood, Glenville; Wil- 
liam Van Vranken, Niskayuna; James Templar, 
Princetown; John W. Conklin, Rotterdam. Chair- 
man, Abraham Conklin; Clerk and Marshal, 
same as last year. 

Application was made and granted by the Free- 
man's Bridge Company for the right to build a 
bridge where the present bridge stands. The 
right was also extended to the Schenectady and 
Duanesburgh Plank Road Company and the 
Schenectady and Saratoga Plank Road Company 
to build plank roads. 

The State and County tax this year amounted to 
$10,500. Ward and town charges, $2,295.10; 
city, $8,507.74. 

1 8419. —-Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward; Peter Banker, Second ward; David P.Greene, 
Third and Fourth wards; Abram Conklin, Duanes- 
burgh; Reuben Kllwood, Glenville; John Pearse, Nis- 



kayuna; James Weart, Princetown; John W. 
Conklin, Rotterdam. Chairman, Peter Banker; 
Clerk, Stephen H. Johnson; Marshal, Green G. 
Crandall. The first local law for the preservation 
of game was framed by this Board this year. The 
application of the Fort Hunter and Albany Plank 
Road Company to extend a plank road through a 
part of this county was granted. The aggregate 
valuation of real and personal estate was returned 
at $3,112,417.66. From 1833 to this year it had 
remained at about the same amount 

The total tax levied this year was $32,833.15. 
State and county tax, $15,400; city tax, $12,- 

1850. — Supervisors — Stephen Yates, First ward; 
John S. AI. Barhydt, Second ward; Solo- 
mon B. King, Third and Fourth Wards; Alex- 
ander Siddle, Jr., Duanesburgh; Adam C. Van 
Patten, Glenville; William V. Bradt, Niskayuna; 

{ames Weart, Princetown; N. I. Schermerhom, 
Rotterdam. Chairman, Stephen Yates; Clerk, 
Benjamin F. Potter; Marshal, John C. Barhydt 

The total lax levied this year was $27,616.43. 
The State and county tax was $13,000. 

185 1. — Supervisors — Stephen Yates, First ward; 
Adrian Van Santvoord, Second ward; Solomon 
B. King, Third ward; Nicholas Barhydt, Fourth 
ward (by act of Legislature, March 21, 1851); 
Alexander Siddle, Jr., Duanesburgh; A. C. Van 
Patten, Glenville; William V. Bradt, Niskayuna; 
John Robinson, Jr., Princetown; John J. Scher- 
merhom, Rotterdam. Officers same as preceding 

The following sums were levied upon the city 
this year : Support of poor, $3,000; highways, 
$2,000; Fire Department, $2,000; Police, $1,- 
000 ; contingent, $1,400. 

The valuation of real and personal estate in the 
county this year was more than double over pre- 
ceding year, being $7, 149, 113. 

Total lax levied this year was $34,150.66. 

1852. — Supervisors— -Stephen Yates, First ward; 
A. M. Vedder, Second ward ; A. F. Kingsbury, 
Third ward; Nicholas Barhydt, Fourth ward; 
Alonzo Ladd, Duanesburgh ; Nicholas Brooks, 
Glenville (subsequently elected Sheriff; Reuben 
Groot was appointed to fill vacancy) ; James Van 
Vranken, Niskayuna ; James Robinson, Jr., 
Princetown ; George Vedder, Rotterdam. Officers 
same as preceding year, with the exception of 
Alexander J. Thomson, Clerk. 

The county tax this year was $23,501.10. Of 
this sum $5,039 was appropriated to schools by 
lawof 1851. Total tax levied, $38,493.68. 

1853. — Supervisors — Sidney B. Potter, First 
ward ; Alexander M. Vedder, Second ward ; 
Francis Fisk, Third ward ; Nicholas Barhydt, 
Fourth ward ; Alonzo Ladd, Duanesburgh ; 
Bracey Tobey, Glenville ; James Van Vranken, 
Niskayuna ; James McNee, Princetown ; N. I. 
Schermerhorn, Rotterdam. Chairman, Sidney B. 
Potter; Clerk, John Bradt; Marshal, George VVag- 
goner. Total tax levied this year was $40,427.99. 

1854. — Supervisors — ^Albert Ward, First ward; 
Alexander M. Vedder, Second ward; Peter 

Vedder, Third ward ; Livingston Ellwood, Fourth 
ward ; James Donnan, Duanesburgh ; Minard 
Knights, Glenville ; John H. Putnam, Niskayuna ; 
James McNoe, Princetown; George Veeder, Rotter- 
dam. Chairman, Alexander M. Vedder; Clerk, 
Simon Calkins ; Marshal, John T. Van Pollen. 
Total tax levied this year was $36,744.05. 

1855. — Supervisors — ^James R. Craig, First 
ward ; Sybrant G. Van Debogart, Second ward ; 
Levi Case, Third ward; Robert C. Dorn, Fourth 
ward; Alexander Liddle, Jr., Duasesburgh ; 
Christian H. Brooks, Glenville; John Pearse, 
Niskayuna ; Samuel B. Bradshaw, Princetown ; 
Moses Chism, Rotterdam. Chairman, James R. 
Craig ; Clerk, James J. Marlette ; Marshal, John 
T. Van Patten. 

The city of Schenectady raised by tax this year, 
by act of the Legislature, $3,100 for school pur- 
poses. County and State tax this year was $26,- 
500. Total tax levied, $46,708.38. 

1856. — Supervisors— Sidney B. Potter, First 
ward ; S. G. Van Debogart, Second ward ; 
Francis Van Debogart, Third ward ; Abraham 
Vrooman, Fourth ward ; Angus Mcintosh, 
Duanesburgh ; Philip R. Toll, Glenville ; John 
H. Putnam, Niskayuna ; Samuel B. Bradshaw, 
Princetown ; S. J. Schermerhom, Rotterdam. 

Chairman, S. G. Van Debogart; Clerk and 
Marshal same as preceding year. 

Under law of State passed April 9, 1854, $6,000 
was raised, levied on the city of Schenectady, for 
school purposes this year. 

Amount of taxes levied upon the county this 
year was about the same as last year. 

1857. — Supervisors — ^JamesR. Craig, First ward; 
S. G. Van Debogart, Second ward ; Francis Van 
Debogart, Third ward ; L. M. Clement, Fourth 
ward ; Angus Mcintosh, Duanesburgh ; Philip R. 
Toll, Glenville ; William H. Lake, Niskayuna ; 
Andrew Kelly, Princetown ; Henry M. Crane, 
Rotterdam. Officers same as last year. 

Total tax, $73,610.19. 

Among the sums levied upon the city of Sche- 
nectady were the following : Fire purposes, $1-, 
200; lighting streets, $4,000; poor, $2,500; 
police, $1,000; school purposes, $8,000. The 
entire city tax was $25,840.25. 

Ward and town charges were $7,770.50. 

1858. — Supervisors — ^Jay Cady, First ward ; S. 
G. Van Debogart, Second ward ; Francis Van De- 
bogart, Third ward ; Ira Brownell, Fourth ward ; 
Benjamin F. Wood. Duanesburgh ; tharles P. 
Sanders, Glenville ; Benjamin C. Lansing, Nis- 
kayuna ; Andrew Kelly, Princetown ; Henry M. 
Crane, Rotterdam. Chairman, S. G. Van De- 
bogart ; Clerk, H. Maynard Aiken and J. J. Mar- 
lette ; Marshal, John S. M. Barhydt. 

Total tax levied this year was $76, 125.77. 

1859. — The Supervisors this year were : Peter 
Dorsch, First ward ; William H. Anthony, Second 
ward ; Jacob Vedder, Third ward ; William H. 
Helmer, Fourth ward ; William Young, Duanes- 
burgh ; Charles P. Sanders, Glenville ; John I. 
TTPboman, Niskayuna; John Marlette, Princetown; 
William Akin, Rotterdam. Chairman, William 



H. Anthony ; Clerk, James J. Marlette ; Marshal, 
John G. Van Patten. 

The Excise Commissioners made a report this 
year, from which we find that $3,005 was received 
from licenses granted. 

Total tax this year was $64,749-76. 

i860. — Supervisors — A. J. Thompson, First 
ward ; William H. Anthony, Second ward ; An- 
drew Frame, Third ward ; Andrew McMullen, 
Fourth ward ; Nicholas Barhydt, Fifth ward 
(formed March 8, 1 860, by an act of the Legisla- 
ture); Charles P. Sanders, Glenville ; John Mar- 
lette, Princetown ; Samuel Wingate, Duanesburgh; 
James T. Wasson, Rotterdam ; John I. Vrooman, 
Niskayuna, Chairman, James T. Wasson; Clerk, 
Allen H. Jackson. 

From the report made by the Excise Commis- 
sioners this year, it appears that ninety-one licenses 
were granted in the county, producing a revenue of 

The total tax levied this year >vas $65,240.67. 
The city tax this year was $26,882.42. 

1 86 1. — Supervisors — Alexander J. Thompson, 
First ward ; S. G. Van Debogart, Second ward ; 

{acob Vedder, Third ward ; Andrew McMullen, 
!*ourth ward ; James H. Ward, Fifth ward ; Sam- 
uel Wingate, Duanesburgh ; Charles P. Sanders, 
Glenville ; William Van Vranken, Niskayuna ; 
Thomas Passage, Princetown ; James McMillan, 
Jr., Rotterdam. Chairman, James H. Ward; 
Clerk, Allen H. Jackson, part term, Walter T. L 
Sanders remainder. 

Total tax this year was $68,01 5. 1 1. 

1862. — Supervisors — Simon V. Swits, First ward; 
William H. Anthony, Second ward; Jacob Ved- 
der, Third Ward; QDrnelius Thomson, Fourth 
ward; James H. Ward. Fifth ward; Samuel Win- 
gate, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glen- 
ville; William Van Vranken, Niskayuna; Alex- 
ander Gifford, Princetown; James McMillan, Jr., 

Chairman, William H. Anthony; remaining 
officers same as preceding year. 

We have now arrived at that period in the his- 
tory of the Board when the war for the preserva- 
tion of the Union had reached gigantic proportions. 
The present Board of Supervisors, and all sub- 
sequent boards during the war, exhibited a pa- 
triotic devotion to the Union. 

After the organization of the Board, a special 
meeting was held August i6th of this year, and a 
resolution, of which the following is part, was 
unanimously passed: 

** Resolved, that we, the Supervisors of the 
County of Schenectady, will continue to pay to 
all volunteers enlisting in the companies now form- 
ing, or to be formed, to fill up the quotas required 
by the general Government to be raised by this 
county, either upon the first or second calls of 
the President for 300,000 men upon each call, the 
sum of $50 to each of such volunteeFS, in addi- 
tion to the bounties already provided by the State 
and general governments." 

The enunciation of the passage of the resolu- 
tion was received with much applause and cheering 

by a large body of anxious and expectant citizens, 
who were present awaiting in silent solemnity the 
action of the board. 

Under the provision of this resolution the sum 
of $29,250 was expended this year, and the 
raising of this amount by taxation was legalized 
by legislative act passed the subsequent year. 
The total tax levied this year was $96,200.24. 

1863. — Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward; Wm. H. Anthony, Second ward; Sidney C. 
Ellsworth, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth 
ward; James H. Ward, Fifth ward; Samuel Win- 
gate, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glenville; 
Hiram Baumes, Niskayuna; Alexander Gifford, 
Princetown; James McMillan, Jr., Rotterdam. 
Chairman, James H. Ward: Clerk, Walter T. 
L. Sanders; Marshal, Benjamin F. Sheldon. 

At this session of the Board, the sum of $300 
was appropriated to each volunteer recruited in 
the county under the proclamation of the Pres- 
ident dated October 10, 1863, calling for 300,000 


Twenty-six thousand dollars in bonds of the 
County of Schenectady, of $500 each, were issued 
this year to discharge the liabilities incurred under 
the resolution of the Board for the payment of 
bounties to volunteers. 

The total tax levied this year was $109,785.75. 

1864. — Supervisors — Martin De For^ First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; Sidney 
C. Ellsworth, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth 
ward; James H. Ward, Fifth ward; Samuel Win- 
gate, Duanesburgh; John L. Tumbull, Duanes- 
burgh (appointed to fill vacancy caused by removal 
of Samuel Wingate from town); Aaron Swart, 
Glenville; Hiram Baumes, Niskayuna; Alexander 
Gifford, Princetown; James McMillan, Jr., Rot- 
terdam. Chairman and Clerk same as last year. 

From the report of the County Treasurer this 
year, it appears the Finance Committee had given 
orders to 279 men, amounting to $83,700, for 
bounty money, from December 15, 1863, to July 
9, 1864. 

A tax was levied up)on the city this year, made 
payable June i, of $50,000 to pay bounties. 

The total tax levied this year was $228,718.36, 
the largest tax ever imposed upon the county. 
Over $120,000 of this sum was for bounties. 

1865. — Supervisors — Martin De Forest, First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; Sidney 
C. Ellsworth, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth 
ward; Nicholas H. Swart, Fifth ward; Charles P. 
Sanders, Glenville; John I. Vrooman, Jr., Niska- 
yuna; William Dougall, Princetown; Jacob D. 
Wemple, Rotterdam. Chairman, Martin De For- 
est; Clerk, Walter T. L. Sanders; Marshal, John 
T. Van Patten. 

At this session of the Board, the Provost Marshal, 
J. P. Baths, of the Eighteenth Congressional Dis- 
trict (comprising Saratoga, Schenectady, Mont- 
gomery, Fulton and Hamilton counties), made a 
report concerning military affairs in the district, 
from which we make the following extracts: 

The corrected enrollment, made in 1865, shows 
12,418 men in the district liable to military duty. 



Of this number Schenectady County was credited 
with 2, no men. The whole number of men 
mustered into service in the district was 7,157 

The following was the amount of bounties paid 
by the city and respective towns of the county up 
to October 31, 1865: 

City, $183,750; Duanesburgh, $113,394; Glen- 
ville, $88,720.53; Princetown, $36,000; Rotter- 
dam, $75,292; Niskayuna, $24,756.94. A special 
tax of $50,750 for bounty money was levied upon 
the city of Schenectady, to be paid by the 3d of 
May, 1866. 

The total tax levied this year was $150,196.86. 

1866. — Supervisors — Arthur W. Hunter, First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; Rich- 
ard Rosa, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth 
ward; Frederick Vedder, Fifth ward; William 
Mallock, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glen- 
ville; John I. Vrooman, Jr., Niskayuna; William 
DougaJl, Princetown; James McMillan, Jr., Rot- 
terdam. Chairman, Richard Rosa; Clerk and 
Marshal same as preceding year. 

Total tax levied this year was $140,584.93. 

1867. — Supervisors — ^Jonas H. Crane, First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; Rich- 
ard Rosa, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth 
ward; Frederick Vedder, Fifth ward; William 
Mallock, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glen- 
ville; John I. Vrooman, Jr., Niskayuna; William 
Dougall, Princetown; James McMillan, Jr., Rot- 
terdam. Chairman, William Dougall; Clerk and 
Marshal same as preceding year. 

This year $15,407.30 was raised in the city of 
Schenectady to defray expenses of the capital po- 
lice, as provided by the amendatory acts to Chapter 
555 of the Laws of 1865. 

The total tax levied this year was $149,210.68. 

A special tax of $46,575, to be paid by May 3, 
1 868, was levied upon the city to fund its bounty 

1868. — Supervisors — Jonas H. Crane, First ward; 
William H. Anthony, Second ward; Harmon Sey- 
mour, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth ward; 
Frederick Vedder, Fifth ward; William Malloch, 
Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glenville; John 
I. Vrooman, Jr., Niskayuna; Andrew T. Wingate, 
Princetown; James Qute, Rotterdam. Chairman, 
Harmon Seymour; Clerk and Marshal, same as 
last year. 

Total tax this year, $123,774.54. 

1869. — Supervisors — Jonas H. Crane, First ward; 
William H. Anthony, Second ward; Peter Vedder, 
Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth ward; Fred- 
erick Vedder, Fifth ward; William Mallock, Duanes- 
burgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glenville; Nicholas 
J. Van Vranken, Niskayuna; Andrew T. Wingate, 
Princetown; H. Maynard Aiken, Rotterdam. 
Chairman, H. Maynard Aiken; Clerk and Marshal 
same as preceding year. 

The sum of $10,411.78 was expended upon the 
county fair and parade grounds this year. 

Total tax levied, $148,165.59. 

1870. — Supervisors — ^Jonas H. Crane, First ward; 
William H. Anthony, Second ward; John G. 

Greene, Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth 
ward; Frederick Vedder, Fifth ward; William Mal- 
lock, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glenville; 
Nicholas J. Van Vranken, Niskayuna; Walter Brad- 
shaw, Princetown; John M. Veeder, Rotterdam. 
Chairman, Nicholas J. Van Vranken; Clerk, G. Gil- 
bert; Marshal, John G. Van Patten. 

Ten thousand dollars was appropriated this year 
for the enlargement of the County Clerk's and Sur- 
rogate's office. The lot adjoining the old office 
was purchased for this purpose for $5,000. 

Total tax levied, $160, 94 7. 65. 

1 87 1. — Supervisors — ^JonasH. Crane, First ward; 
Charles G. Ellis. Second ward; John G. Greene, 
Third ward; William H. Clark, Fourth ward; Har- 
rison Clute and Thomas Shannon (the latter ap- 
pointed to fill vacancy occasioned by election of 
Harrison Clute, Superintendent of Poor); Emmett 
O'Neill, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glen- 
ville; Walter Bradshaw, Princetown; John I. Vroo- 
man, Jr., Niskayuna; John M. Veeder, Rotterdam. 
Chairman, Walter Bradshaw; Gerk and Marshal, 
same as preceding year. 

Total tax levied, $138,693.20. 

1872. — Supervisors — ^A. W. Hunter, First ward; 
Charles G. Ellis, Second ward; John G. Greene, 
Third ward; William H. Clark, Fourth ward; 
William H. McClyman, Fifth ward; Emmett 
O'Neill, Duanesburgh; Charles P. Sanders, Glen- 
ville; Christopher O. Hamlin, Niskayuna; Walter 
Bradshaw, Princetown; John M. Veeder, Rotter- 
dam. Chairman, Emmett O'Neill ; Clerk, G. 
Gilbert; Marshal, Solomon Bearup. 

Total tax levied, $166,625.08. 

1873. — Supervisors — James R. Craig, First 
ward; Charles G. Ellis, Second ward; John G. 
Greene, Third ward; Bartholomew O'Connel, 
Fourth ward; William H. McClyman, Fifth 
ward; Emmett O'Neill, Duanesburgh; Charles P. 
Sanders, Glenville; Christopher O. Hamlin, Nis- 
kayuna; Walter Bradshaw, Princetown; John M. 
Veeder, Rotterdam. Chairman, Christopher O. 
Hamlin; Clerk, G. Gilbert; Marshal, John G. 
Van Patten. April 21st of this year an act of the 
Legislature was passed authorizing the Board of 
Supervisors to sell a portion of the poor-house 
farm; 187 lots were sold at auction for the sum of 

Total tax levied, $149,056.57. 

1874. — Supervisors — Jonas H. Crane, First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; 
Hugh Reynolds, Third ward; Martin Swart, 
Fourth ward; Garrett S. Veeder, Fifth ward; 
Emmett O'Neill, Duanesburgh; Charles P. San- 
ders, Glenville; Christopher O. Hamlin, Niskay- 
una; Walter Bradshaw, Princetown; Seeley Pat- 
terson, Rotterdam. Chairman, Seely Patterson; 
Clerk, Josiah Van Vranken; Marshal, John G« 
Van Patten. 

Total tax levied, $177,744.78. 

1875. — Supervisors — Jonas H. Crane, First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; 
Hugh Reynolds, Third ward; Martin Swart, 
Fourth ward; Garrett S. Veeder, Fifth ward; 
Ardiur D. Mead, Duanesburgh; Philip R. Toll, 


Glenviile; Chrislopher O. Hamlin, Niskayiina; 
Alexander Gifford, Princelown; Jacob D, Wemple, 
Rotterdam. Chairman, Jonas H. Crane; remain- 
ing officers same as preceding year. Total tax 
levied, $ 184,44 1- 71- 

1876, — Supervisors — A. W. Hunter, First 
ward; William H. Anthony, Second ward; Hugh 
Reynolds, Third ward; L°wis Vrooman, Fourth 
ward; William G. Van Patten, Fifth ward; George 
Lasher, Diianesburgh ; Reuben Groot. Glenviile; 
Chrislopher 0. Hamlin, Niskayuna; Alexander 
Gifford, Princetown; Isaac Wemple, Rotterdam. 
Chairman. William H, Anthony; Clerk, Josiah 
Van Vranken; Marshal, John T. Van Patten. For 
a number of years heretofore the aggregate valua- 
tions of real and personal estate in the county had 
been returned by the assessors at about five and 
one-half million dollars. This year the aggregate 
valuation was increased to S6i5oo.690-03. Total 
tax levied, $158,002.52. 

1877. — Supervisors — A.W. Hunter, First ward; 
Robert Cornell, Second ward; James McDermolt, 
Third ward; Lewis Vrooman, Fourth ward; 
William G. Van Patten, Fifth ward; Arthur D. 
Mead, Duanesburgh; Reuben Groot, Glenviile; 
Christopher O. Hamlin, Niskayuna; Alexander 
Gifford, Princetown; Isaac Wemple, Rotterdam. 
Chairman, Arthur D. Mead; Clerk, Josiah Van 
Vranken; Marshal, John G. Van Patten. Total 
tax about as preceding year. 

1878.— Supervisors — A. W. Hunter, Fim 
ward; Robert Cornell, Second ward; James Mc- 
Dermott, Third ward; Peter Van DycU, Fourth 
ward; F. T. Van Patten, Fifth ward; Geoi^e 
Lasher, Duanesburgh; John A. Taws, Princetown; 
James Tumbull, Rotterdam; Christopher O. Ham- 
lin, Niskayuna; Reuben Groot, Glenviile. Chair- 
man, George Lasher; Clerk, Gilbert De Graff; 
Marshal, John T. Van Patten. Total tax levied, 

1879. — Supervisors — A W. Hunter, First ward; 
Hiram J. IngersoU, Second ward ; James Flinn, 
Third ward ; Lewis Clement, Fourth ward ; F. T. 
Van Patten, Fifth ward ; John W. Head, Duanes- 
burgh ; Reuben Groot, Glenviile; Christopher O. 
Hamlin, Niskayuna ; John A. Taws, Princetown ; 
James Tumbuil, Rotterdam, Chairman, John 
W. Head; Clerk, Gilbert De Graff; Marshal, 
John T. Van Patten. 

At this session a special act of the Legislature 
was passed abolishing the office of Keeper at the 
Almshouse, the duties of which office were united 
with those devolving upon the Superintendent of 

Total tax levied this year, $143,073.59. 

j88o. — Supervisors — A. W. Hunter, First ward; 
Henry Bradt, Second ward ; Francis Cain, Third 
Vard ; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth ward ; F. T. Van 
Patten, Fifth ward ; George Lasher, Duanesburgh; 
Alexander Donnan, Princetown ; Thomas W. 
Winne, Niskayuna ; Reuben Groot, Glenviile ; 
James Tumbull, Rotterdam. Chairman, Reuben 
Groot ; Clerk, Patrick H. Cain ; Marshal, John 
T. Van Patten. 

ToUl tax levied this year, 1142,753.07. 

1881. — Supervisors — A, W. Hunter, First ward; 
Charles W. Sanders, Second ward ; Francis Cain, 
Third ward; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth ward; 
George M. Bostwick, Fifth ward : James W. Wad- 
dell. Duanesburgh ; Reuben Groot, Glenviile ; 
Samuel A. Weast, Rotterdam ; Alexander Donnan, 
PrincetowTi ; Thomas W. Winne, Niskayuna. 
Chairman, Reuben Groot; Clerk, P. H.Cain; 
Marshal, John T. Van Patten. 

Total tax about the same as preceding year. 

1882. — Supervisors — A, W. Hunter, First ward ; 
Levi A. Young, Second ward ; Francis Cain and 
Patrick H. C^in (the latter appointed to fill 
vacancy caused by death of Francis Cain), Third 
ward ; Peter Van Dyck, Fourth ward ; Jerome 

B. Dow, Fifth ward ; James T. Wyatl, Glenviile ; 
James T. Waddell, Duanesburgh ; Thomas W. 
Winne, Niskayuna ; Samuel A. Weast, Rotter- 
dam ; James Weast, Princetown. Chairman, A. 
W. Hunter; Clerk, George M. Bostwick; Mar- 
shal, John T. Van Patten. Toul tax levied, 
S151. 817.23. 

1883.— Supervisors — A. W. Hunter, First ward ; 
N. J. Swart, Second ward ; P. H. Cain, Third 
ward ; Seth L. Clute, Fourth ward ; Ephraim 
Clow. Fifth ward ; James W. Waddell, Duanes- 
burgh ; Thomas W. Winne, Niskayuna ; James 
Weast, Princetown ; S. J. Schermerhom, Rotter- 
dam. Chairman, A. W, Hunter ; Clerk, John E. 
Myers ; Marshal, John T. Van I^tten. 

At this session of the Board the aggregate valua- 
tions of the personal and real estate was increased 
from $6,542,448 for preceding year, to $13,181,- 
490.05 for this year. Total tax levied, (164,- 

Four of the city members of this Board made an 
appeal to the Slate Assessors, claiming that the 
equalization of assessment, as made by- a majority 
of the Board, resulted in great injustice to the tax- 
payers of the city. A hearing was had before the 
State Assessors in this city in June of the follow- 
ing year, when the appeal of the city members was 
sustained, and the various towns of the county 
were ordered and did pay back to the city the 
several amounts wrongfully, as was claimed by 
the Slate Assessors, assessed upon the city. 

1884.— Supervisors— A. W. Hunter, First ward; 
Jacob Barringer, Second ward ; Patrick H, Own, 
Third ward ; Lewis Vrooman, Fourth ward ; 
George Susholz, Fifth ward ; John A. McClure, 
Duanesburgh ; James T. Wyatt, Glenviile; John 

C, Myers, Rotterdam ; James Weast, Princetown ; 
Thomas W. Winne, Niskayuna. Chairman, 
James T. Wyait ; Clerk. Omie F. Vedder ; Mar- 
shal, John T. Van Patten. 

Total tax levied this year was $183,664.65; 
State tax, $29,880.64; county tax, $33,898.13; 
city charges, $95,346.73; town charges, $24,- 

Included in the city charges were the following 
items: Poor, $5,000.00; schools, $17,000.00; 
for deficiency, 1883 (by special act of Legislature), 
$13,500.00; extinguishment of fires, $11,000.00; 
lighting streets, $io,ooaoo; police, $9,500.00. 




Previous to 1824, each town in all the counties 
of the State supported its own poor, under statutes 
passed by the Legislature, but which, however 
humane and liberal, were imperfect compared with 
our existing laws. November 27, 1824, a law was 
p)assed for the establishment of a poor-house in 
several counties of the State. April 11, 1826, 
a law was passed authorizing the establishment of 
a poor-house in the county of Schenectady. This 
act was in the main similar to the law passed 
November 27, 1824. The number of superin- 
tendents was limited to three and not more than 
five. It was also provided in this act that the poor 
sent to the county poor-house from the city and 
several towns should be a charge upon the city or 
towns from which they were sent. 

The present county poor-house and the adjoin- 
ing farm, before the passage of this act, were used 
as an almshouse by the city and the present towns 
of Rotterdana and Glenville. On the 9th day of 
December, 1825, a committee was appointed by 
the board for the purpose of purchasing this prop- 
erty. The price agreed upon was $2,000. The 
act of April II, 1826, permitted this sale, which 
was consummated July 15, 1826. 

The first Superintendents of Poor were : David 
Boyd, Cornelius Z. Van Santvoord, John Wood, 
Jacob I. Schermerhorn and David Smith. They 
were appointed for a term of one year. The first 
poor-house keeper was Henry Clute. 

August I, 1826, the poor-house was first opened 
for the reception of county poor. 

The first year the Superintendents made a con- 
tract with the keeper for the support, maintenance 
and clothing of the county paupers for sixty cents 
each per week, the keeper being allowed the prod- 
ucts of the farm and the use of the buildings, and 
whatever labor he could obtain from the able- 
bodied paupers. 

The first report was sent by the Superintendents 
to the Board of Supervisors, November 14, 1826, 
from which we find that from August ist to October 
30th, the entire expense of the county poor-house 
was $321.00; the whole number of paupers, 38, 
divided as follows: City, 16; County 11; Rot- 
terdam, 3 ; Glenville, 6 ; Princetown, 2. The 
Superintendents reported that they had engaged 
Dr. John La Tonelier as almshouse physician, at 
an annual salary of $75. 

The Board of Supervisors prescribed the laws 
and regulations governing the poor-house, and the 
rules to be observed by the inmates. The Super- 
intendents reported as follows ; "That the poor- 
house and paupers have been visited every week 
by one of the Superintendents ; the paupers always 
found clean and cheerful; and the house clean, and 
everything in good order. The by-laws, rules 
and regulations laid down by the Board of Super- 
visors have been strictly adhered to. " 

The following year the Superintendents made a 
contract with Henr}' Clute to keep the pauf>ers at 
fifty cents per week, under the same conditions as 
last year. 

This year the offices of poor-house and jail 
ph}*sician were united into one office, and an an- 
nual salary of $120 allowed. David Low was 
elected as such physician. The total expense of 
the poor-house for the year was $481. 14. 

In 1829, the sum of $150 was appropriated for 
the purpose of building a lunatic asylum on the 
poor-house property. The Superintendent reported 
that $900 would be necessary to defray the expenses 
of the poor for the following year. 

In 1830, the number of Superintendents was re- 
duced by the Board of Supervisors from five to 

The reports of the Superintendents for this and 
the following years are so limited that few facts of 
interest can be obtained. 

In 1 83 1, J. I. S. Van Epps, Henry Peek 
and William Carpenter were Superintendents of 
Poor. From the report of these officers it ap- 
pears the expenses of the poor-house were $ i , 3 1 6. 63 
for the preceding year, $500 of which sum was 
used to pay an indebtedness of previous year; $800 
was raised this year for poor-house purposes. 

The Superintendents for 1833 were: Henry 
Peek, Henry Lovett and William A. S. North. 
$1,200 was raised this year for support of the poor- 

Henry Peek, William A, S. North and Abner 
H. Smith were appointed Superintendents for 
1834. $1,400 was raised for County poor-house 
this year. 

For 1835, Abner Smith, Simon Schermerhorn and 
John Van Voast were Superintendents. $2,127 
was raised for county poor this year. 

For 1836, the same Superintendents were ap- 
pointed as in the preceding year. 

From this year to 1 840 the amounts raised for 
county poor ranged from $1,600 to $2,200. 
The reports for these years were not recorded in 
the minutes of the Board of Supervisors, and could 
not be found. 

It had been the custom of the Board of Super- 
visors to visit the poor-house annually for inspec- 
tion. After inspecting the premises in 1 840, it was 
determined that insufficient room was provided for 
the paupers, and, in consequence, the brick build- 
ing on the east side of the poor-house was con- 
structed this year. A barn was also built at the 
same time. 

The following sums were raised this year : 
$2,000 for support of poor, $500 for furniture for 
new building, and $602 to pay indebtedness for 
poor purposes for preceding year. 

The Superintendents for 1841 and 1842 were: 
John Van Voast, Wm. A. S. North and John 
Clark. The sum of $1,800 was raised each year 
for county poor purposes. 

Wm. A. S. North, John Van Voast and Daniel 
Smith were chosen Superintendents for 1843, ^^^ 
Daniel Smith, David M. Moore and John Van 
Voast for 1844. $1,600 was raised in 1843, ^^^ 
$1,250 in 1844 for county poor. 

In 1844 the Board of Supervisors, deeming the ap- 
pointment of three Superintendents of Poor to be 
unnecessary and too expensive, petitioned the Legis- 



lature for the passage of an act permitting the 
Board to appoint but one Superintendent of Poor. 
The passage of such a law was not effected until a 
number of years after. 

The Superintendents from 1845 to 1848 were : 
Benjamin F. Wood, Abraham A. Van Voast and 
Abijah Freeman; $15,000 was raised in 1845 
and $1,600 in 1846 for the maintenance of the 
county poor; $853.45 was expended in 1846 on 
an addition and repairs at the poor-house. 

In 1848, the Superintendents of Poor were re- 
quired to give bonds in the sum of $3,000 each. 
The Superintendents for this year were : John F. 
Qute, Philip H. Dcderick and William S. Kelly. 

The Superintendents for 1849 were: Joshua 
Parker, Abraham Vrooman and Philip H. Dederick. 
From 1848 to 1854, the cost of maintaining the 
poor-house ranged from $1,500 to $2,000. In 
1854 a difficulty arose between the Board of Super- 
visors and the Superintendents of Poor as to which 
body was delegated the power of appointing a 
keeper at the poor-house. The Board appointed 
Henry Marcellus and the Superintendents selected 
William Chism. After legal investigation it was 
settled by allowing the Superintendents to make 
their own appointment; but that it was not an ac- 
knowledgment of their legal rights, is evinced by 
the fact that the following year the Board appointed 
a keeper, and continued to do so until this office 
was abolished in 1879. 

An act was passed by the Legislature, in 1854, 
reducing the number of Superintendents of Poor 
to one, and providing that such officer should be 
elected by ihe people for a term of three years. 
The first Superintendent elected to this office, 
under this law, was Nicholas I. Schermerhom in 
1856. His term began January i, 1857. 

From the report made by the Superintendent in 
i860, we find that there were 73 paupers at the 
poor-house November i of that year, and that the 
entire expense of the county poor for the year end- 
ing November i was $9,280.67. 

In 1 86 1, the brick building on the west side of 
the poor-house was erected for the purpose of 
accommodating the insane of the county, at a cost 
of $3, 000. 

For the year ending November i, 1862, the 
whole expense of the county poor was $9, 270. 59. 

From 1862 to the present time, the yearly ex- 
pense of the county poor-house has averaged be- 
tween eleven and twelve thousand dollars. In 
1866 it was $15,453.12. The maximum amount 
was reached in 1878, when it was $16,199, and the 
lowest in 1880, when it was $8,283. The average 
number of paupers has been between seventy and 

In 1873, a portion of the poor-house farm was 
sold at auction in small lots to private individuals. 
187 lots were disposed of 

In 1879, ^ special act of the Legislature was 
passed abolishing the office of poor-house keeper ; 
the duties of this office were united with those 
devolving upon the Superintendent of the Poor. 
Since the passage of this law, the Superintendent has 
resided at the poor-house. 

For a number of years after the erection of the 
Asylum building in 1861, the county took care of 
its insane, but in 1875 most of the incurable cases 
were removed to the State Asylum at Ovid, and a 
few years after, all incurable patients were removed 
to this institution. At the present time the county 
supports none of its insane at the county house. 


Superintendents, — 1 856-1 866. W. I. Schermer- 
hom ; 1866-1869, John F. Clute; 1869-1872, 
W. J. Mcintosh; 1872-1879, Harrison Clute; 
1 879-1 885, William G. Van Patten; 1885, An- 
thony Walton. 

Keepers. — 1 857-1 866, William Chism ; 1866- 
1 87 1, Francis Veeder; 1 872-1 876, John I. Vroo- 
man ; 1876-1879, Philip Eygner; 1879-1880, 
William E. Dederick. 


Following will be found as complete a list of the 
officials, both County and State, from Schenectady 
County, as could be obtained. Those not given 
in the following pages will be found in separate 
articles in different portions of this work. 

Robert Yates was a Member of the First, Second, 
Third and Fourth Provincial Congresses of New 
York; was a Member of the First Convention of 
New York, in 1777, to form a constitution, and a 
member of the committee to draft it; was an As- 
sociate Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, 
and finally its Chief Justice. He was a member of 
the Convention of 1788 to ratify the Federal Con- 

Rineis Schermerhorn was Senator under the first 
Constitution, 1777 to 1781. 

John Sanders was Senator under the first Con- 
stitution, 1 799-1802, and member of the Council 
of Appointment in 1800. His associates were De 
Witt Clinton, Ambrose and John Roseboom. 

Simon Veeder was Senator under the first Con- 
stitution from 1804 to 1806. 

Henry Yates, Jr., was Senator under the first 
Constitution from 18 10 to 18 14, and from 181 8 to 
1822. He was also a member of the Council of 
Appointment in 181 2 and 181 8. 

Gerret S. Veeder was the first Judge of the 
Schenectady Court of Common Pleas, appointed 
soon after the organization of the county in 

Among those who represented Schenectady in 
the General Assembly from 161 5 to 1768 were the 
following: Karl Hansen Toll, Jacob Glen, Arent- 
Bradt, Abraham Glen, Nicholas Schuyler, Jacob 
Van Slyck, Isaac Vrooman, Ryer Schermerhorn, 
Jacobus Mynderse and Nicholas Groot. 

Henry Glen was member of Assembly in 1 786, 
1787 and 1 8 10. He was also memberof the Third, 
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Congresses of the United 
States, from 1793 ^^ 1802, and also member of the 
First, Second and Third Provincial Congresses, 

Harmanus Peek was member of the Sixteenth 
Congress from 1 8 1 9 to 1821. 



William North was member of the Assembly 
1792, 1794, 1795, '796 and 1 7 10, and several 
limes Speaker of that body. In 1798, during a 
recess of the Legislature, he was appointed a 
Senator of the United States by Governor John 
Jay, to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resigna- 
tion of John Gloss Hoburt 


1798-1800, 1802, 1804-1807, 1813, Joseph 
Shurtliff; 1811-1812, James Boyd and John 
Young; 18 13, Alexander Combs; 1814, Abraham 
Van Ingen and Lawrence Vrooman; 181 5, Abra- 
ham Van Ingen and John Victory; 1816, Harma- 
nus Peek and Harry Frj-er; 181 7, Harmanus Van 
Slyck and John Victory; 18 18, Daniel L. Van 
Antwerp and Simon A. Veeder; 181 9, James 
Frost and Simon A. Groot; 1820, Christian Hav- 
erly and Marinus Willett; 1821, Richard Mc- 
Michael and Garrit Veeder; 1822, James Walker 
and John F. D. Veeder; 1823, Peter M. Bronck; 
1824, Isaac Riggs; 1825, John S. Vrooman; 1826, 
Robeit Sanders; 1827-1830, Alonzo C. Paige; 
1 83 1, Aaron Carroll; 1832, Abram Dorn; 1833, 
Cornelius C. Van Vranken; 1834, Simon Scher- 
merhom; 1835, David Ostrom; 1836, John B. 
Duane; 1837, Thomas Knight; 1838, Silas H. 
Marsh; 1839, Silas H. Marsh; 1840, Theodore 
W. Sanders; 1841, Abraham Pearse; 1842, Jona- 
than C. Burnham; 1843, Edward H. Walton; 
1844, Archibald L. Linn; 1845, William Gifford; 
1846, David M. Moore; 1847, jDavid Caw; 1848, 
Abraham W. Toll; 1849, Israel A. Green; 1850, 
James Allen; 1851, Reuben Ell wood; 1852, James 
Donnan; 1853, ^"^- ^^^^ Vranken; 1854, Mat- 
thew Winne, Jr.^ 1855, James Donnan; 1856, 
James Rodgers; 1857, Nicholas Barhydt; 1858, 
Angus Mcintosh; 1859, Charles Thomas; i860, 
Peter Dorsch; 1861, Alonzo Macomber; 1862, 
Simon J. Schermerhom; 1863, John McShea, Jr.; 
1864, Charles Stanford; 1865, Charles Stanford; 
1866, John C. Ellis; 1867. Chas. G. Ellis; 1868, 
Robert Furman; 1869, Henry M. Crane; 1870, 
Gershom Banker; 1871, Gershom Banker; 1872, 
William Greenhalgh; 1873, I^niel P. McQueen; 
1874, Daniel P. McQueen; 1875, Samuel T. Ben- 
edict; 1876, Emmett O'Neill; 1877, Walter T. L. 
Sanders; 1878, Arthur D. Mead; 1879, Daniel P. 
McQueen: 1880, Arthur D. Mead; 1881, George 
Lasher; 1882, John D. Campbell; 1883, Christo- 
pher O. Hamlin; 1884, John W. Veeder; 1885, 
Edward D. Cotter. 


John Veeder, 1806, 1808-9 ; Joseph C. Yates, 
1807, 1808; Henry Yates, Jr., 1811-1814, 1818- 
1821; Alonzo C. Paige, 1837, 1839-1840; 
Stephen H. Johnson, 1 850-1 ; Charles Stanford, 


1809, Gerrit S. Veeder; 1812, Gardner Cleve- 
land; 1823, David Boyd; 1835, Samuel W. 
Jones; 1840, Archibald L. Linn; 1845, Samuel 
W. Jones; 1851, Stephen H, Johnson; 1855, 
John Sanders; 1859, Stephen H. Johnson; 1865, 

Judson S. Landon ; 1869. Walter T. L. Sanders; 
1873, Austin A. Yates ; 1879, David C. Beattie. 


1809, William J. Teller; 18 13, Robert Hudson ; 
181 5, William J. Teller; 181 6, John Yates; 
182 1, Giles F. Yates; 1840, John Saunders; 1844 
-1847, David Cady Smith. Since the latter date 
the County Judges have acted as Surrogates. 


1818, John K. Paige; 1823, Alonzo C. Paige; 
1839, Piatt Potter; 1847, Benjamin F. Potter; 1850, 
Samuel L. Baker; 1851, James Fuller; 1851, John 
Van Santvoord; 1853, Samuel T. Freeman; 1856, 
Simon Calkins; 1856, Judson S. Landon; 1862, 
John G. McChesney; 1865, John L. Hill; 1868. 
Austin A. Yates; 1873, Alonzo P. Strong; 1874, 
David C. Beattie; 1877, Charles E. Palmer; 1880, 
J. Teller Schoolcraft 


1809, James V. S. Riley; 1810, John V. Van 
Ingen; 181 1, James V. S. Riley; 1813, John 
Brown; 18 15, Gideon Holliday; 18 18, Isaac Riggs; 
1821, Lewis Eaton; 1822, A. Van Slyck; 1825, 
John F. D. Vedder; 1828, Gershom Van Voast; 
183 1, Isaac I. Yates; 1834, Matthew Putman; 
1837, Myndert M. R. Wemple; 1840, David F. 
Reese; 1843, Anthony H. Van Slyck; 1846, John 
G. Van Voast; 1849. JohnF.Clute; 1852, Nicholas 
Brooks; 1855, Obadiah L. De Forest; 1856, Philip 
Dederick; 1858, Norman M. F. Clute; 1861, Abra- 
ham Gillispie; 1864, Samuel Wingate; 1867, Peter 
Miller; 1868, Clark V. Worden; 1869. Jacob Ved- 
der; 1872, James McMillan; 1875, Hiram J. In- 
gersoll; 1870, Charles H. Van Vranken; 1881, Jacob 
De Forest; 1884, Seth L. Clute. 


1769, Henry Glen (Town Clerk) ; 1809, Peter F. 
Veeder; 18 10, Joseph Shurtliff; 181 1, Peter F. 
Veeder ; 1812, Jellis A. Fonda ; 1 8 1 3, Joseph 
Shurtliff; 181 5, Jellis A. Fonda; 1822, Jellis A. 
Fonda; 1834, JohnS. Vrooman ; 1834, Jonathan 
Burnham; 1837, Archibald Campbell; 1843, 
Silas H. Marsh; 1849, David P. Forrest; 1852, 
Marvin Strong; 1858, John W. Veeder; 1861, 
John N. Banker ; 1864, John McShea, Jr. ; 1864, 
James G. Caw; 1876, J. Fonda Veile; 1882, 
Thomas Yelverlon. 

Thomas Yelverton, the present County Clerk, 
was bom in Chester, Orange Counly, N. Y., in 
1842, and graduated from Union College in 1866. 
He came to Schenectady in 1872. 


(Previous to 1848, County Treasurers were 
chosen by the Board of Supervisors, and for list 
of these officers previous to ihis date see article on 
Supervisors.) 1848, Stephen Y. Vedder; 1851, 
Charles H. Matthews; 1854, John H. Vander- 
veer; 1857, William M. Colbome ; i860, Nicholas 
Barhydt; 1863, Nichols V. Swits ; 1866, N. J. 
Schermerhom ; 1881, Ira Brownell. 




(Previous to 1857, School Commissioners were 
appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The first 
election was held in November, 1859.) Daniel J. 

Darrow, David H. Hamlin, Samuel H. Weart, 
Nicholas T. Van Natta, Solyman G. Hamlin, 
Simon J. Schermerhom, David Elder, H. Maynard 
Akin, C. W. Van Santvoord. 


Bdited and Compiled by Rev. J. H. »lXJNSEI.JLi. 

MUNICIPAL HISTORY— 1 798-1 885. 

''PHE municipal history of Schenectady properly 
1 begins with the passage of its charter, March 
26, 1 798, being the third incorporated city in the 

For ten years preceding the date of incorpora- 
tion, Schenectady was controlled by a Board of 
Trustees, who in 1798 signed a petition to the 
Legislature declaring they deemed the incorpora- 
tion of Schenectady as a city, beneficial and neces- 
sary to its growth and welfare. The names of 
the trustees appended to this petition were: Abra- 
ham Wemple, Nicholas Veeder, Abraham Switz, 
Abraham Oothout, John Glen, John Sanders, Jel- 
lis I. Fonda, Andrew Van Patten, Adam S. Vroo- 
man. Garret S. Veeder, Jr., and Richard Scher- 
merhom. Among other citizens at this period 
who were influential in securing the passage of this 
act, were Joseph Shurtliflf, member of Assembly 
from Schenectady at this date, and for a number of 
years after, Simon Veeder, Joseph C. Yates, Maus 
Schermerhom, John Yates, William North and 
Harm anus Peek. 

The area embraced within the corporate limits 
of Schenectady by the charter of 1 798 was exten- 
sive, being twelve miles in length and eight in 
breadth. It was divided into four wards. The First 
ward included all the compact part of the city 
lying between Union street and the Mohawk River; 
the Second ward, that part lying south of Union 
street and extending a short distance upon the 
Bouwlandt; the Third ward, what is now the 
town of Rotterdam; and the .Fourth ward, what 
is now the town of Glenville. 

The corporate title was known by the name of 
*'The Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the 
City of Schenectady. " The legislative power of the 
city was vested in a Mayor and a Board of Alder- 
men, who together formed the Common Council, 
a majority of the whole constituting a quorum for 
the transaction of business. 

By this charter, the surviving trustees became di- 
vested voluntarily of all rights and claims over the 
common lands, the same being vested in the Mayor, 
Aldermen and Commonalty of the city. Three 
commissioners were appointed to settle all ac- 
counts against and in favor of the tmstees,and it was 
provided by the act that no sale or transfer of the 
common lands should be made, * * unless two-thirds 
of the whole number of Aldermen and Assistants of 
said city shall give their assent to such sale/' 

The charter provided for the election by the 
people of two Aldermen and two Assistants, who 
should serve for a period of one year, such elec- 
tions being held on the first Tuesday in April. 
The term of office began on the first Tuesday in 
May. From 1798 to 1822, the Mayors in aH the 
cities of this State were appointed by the Governor, 
with the advice and consent of the Council of Ap- 
pointment. From 1822 to 1840 they were ap- 
pointed by the Common Council. By act of the 
Legislature, passed February 13, 1840, they have 
since been elected by the people. 

The first Mayor of Schenectady was Joseph C. 
Yates, who received his appointment from Gover- 
nor John Jay. Mr. Yates was one of the foremost 
lawyers of his day, and the early history of this 
city owes much to his far-seeing acumen, ju- 
dicious counsel and high administrative ability. 
He became State Senator in 1806, and in 1808 be- 
came one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of 
this State. He became Governor of the State in 

The Mayor presided over the deliberations of 
the Board of Aldermen, and possessed all the privi- 
leges, as far as voting was concemed, of an alder- 
man. He was also given power similar to a Judge 
of Common Pleas in all transactions relating to 
lands within the city. 

To him was delegated the exclusive power of 
granting and giving licenses for the sale of in- 
toxicating liquors under the public seal of the 



The officers appointed by the Common Council 
under the first charter consisted of a city treasurer, 
clerk, and as many assessors, collectors, constables, 
commissioners of highways, overseers of the poor, 
pound-masters and fence-viewers as the Common 
Council might deem necessary. 

The charter of 1 798 has been subjected to many 
amendments, to meet the demands of the times. 
The existing charier not only meets the require- 
ments of a liberal, progressive policy, but under 
its operation the city is governed in a highly credit- 
able and satisfactorv manner. 

Mayor. — The office of Mayor, as has been 
stated, was filled by appointment of the Governor 
and Council until 1822. From that date to 1840 
the Mayor was appointed by the Common Council, 
since which time it has been an elective office. 
The term of office from 1798 to 1861 was one 
year, since which date it has been two years. 

Recorder. — Although the office of Recorder is 
mentioned in the charter of the borough of Sche- 
nectady, it does not seem to have been created 
under the city charter until 1833, in which year 
Harmanus Peek was made Recorder and held this 
position for a number of years after. This officer 
possessed all the powers then conferred by law upon 
the Recorders of cities, and during the absence, 
sickness or disability of the Mayor, could exercise 
all the powers conferred upon the Mayor. From 
1833 to 1862 the term of office was one year; 
since the latter date it has been extended to four 
years. The duties of this officer, as defined by the 
charter, consist in attending meetings of the Com- 
mon Council, and in the absence or inability to 
act of the Mayor, he shall discharge the duties of 
that office. He is invested with power to arrest 
or cause the arrest of all persons violating the laws 
of the State, or the ordinances or police regula- 
tions of the city. 

Aldermen. — ^The charter of 1798 provided for 
the election of four Aldermen in each ward for a 
period of one year. In 1851 the four Aldermen 
in each ward were divided into two classes, two 
who should serve for one year and two who should 
serve for two years. The act under which this was 
effected, provided that thereafter the terms of only 
two aldermen in each ward should expire during 
each year, and that all Aldermen elected one year 
after the passage of the act should serve for two 
years. In 1873 ^^ number of Aldermen in each 
ward was reduced to three, who should be elected 
for three years, but they were divided into classes, 
so that Uie term of only one Alderman in each 
ward now expires every year. 

Treasurer. — ^The Treasurer was appointed by 
the Common Council from 1798 to 1848, at which 
latter date a Treasurer was elected by the people. 
To the year 1862 the term of office was one year, 
but by the charter of this year it was extended to 
two years. 

Clerk. — ^The Clerk has annually been appointed 
by the Common Council since the incorporation 
of the city. 

Board of Magistrates. — A law was passed in 
1 81 5, empowering the Common Coimcil to appoint 

as many Aldermen or Justices of the Peace as was 
deemed necessary to constitute a Board of Magis- 
trates. This Board was required to attend to 
the relief and support of the poor, and to punish 
persons committing petty offences within the city. 
The exclusive power of applying and distributing 
the poor fund was committed to this Board. 
After the creation of the office of Police Justice, 
this Board was composed of that officer and two 
Aldermen, the latter selected by the Common 
Council. For many years the sole duty of this 
Board has been confined to the relief of the poor. 

Superintendent of Streets. — By an amendment 
to the charter in 181 3, provision was made for 
the appointment of one or more Superintendents 
of Streets, who should have charge of laying out 
and grading of streets. From 1 813 to the present, 
but one Superintendent of Streets has been an- 
nually appointed by the Common Council, by 
which body his powers and duties are prescribed. 

City Attorney. — ^This office was created in 
1833, since which date such officer has been an- 
nually appointed by the Common Council. He 
receives a stated salary, attends all meetings and 
acts as the legal adviser and assistant of the Board 
in all matter pertaining to questions of law. 

City Physician. — ^TTiis officer was created about 
the same time as City Attorney. The person hold- 
ing this office is chosen annually by the Common 
Council and receives a regular salary. He is, 
ex officio, health officer of the Board of Health, 
and required to render surgical aid and as- 
sistance to all indigent persons within the city. 

Board of Health. — ^The duty of attending to 
sanitary afiairs devolved upon the Mayor and 
Aldermen during the early municipal history of 
Schenectady. In 18 13 the charter provided that 
one or more persons should be appointed by the 
Common Council, who should attend to the alter- 
ing, amending, cleansing of any street, vault, sink 
or common sewer, and to apportion the costs upon 
the owners of property benefited thereby. In 
1833, the Common Council appointed as many 
members as was deemed necessary to form a Board 
of Health to assist the Mayor in carrying into 
effect the provisions of the existing laws relating 
to the prevention and introduction of infectious 
and pestilential disease. Members of the Board 
were allowed a reasonable compensation for their 
services, as determined by the Common Council. 
By the charter of 1862, the Board of Health con- 
sisted of the Mayor, City Physician and one Alder- 
man from each ward. The City Physician was the 
health officer of the Board. This Board, as then 
constituted, remains the same, although under 
recent laws their powers and duties have been 
greatly enlarged. 

Justices of the Peace, Constables and Police. 
— (See separate Article on Police. ) 

Board of Excise. — ^As has been stated, the 
Mayor had exclusive power to grant licenses for 
sale of intoxicating liquors under the first charter. 
In 1 8 1 3 the charter was so amended that a Com- 
missioner of Excise was appointed by the Common 
Council for the Third and Fourth wards, who, 



under the approbation of the Mayor, was empow- 
ered to grant licenses. In 1833, licenses were grant- 
ed by the Mayor and Common Council, under the 
provisions of the State law at this time. In 1857 
a law was passed giving the County Judge and 
Justices of Sessions of the several counties power 
to appoint three Commissioners of Excise to grant 
licenses in the county. In 1 870 the Mayors of most 
of the cities of the State were given power to appoint 
three Commissioners of Excise for a period of 
three years. The present Commissioners are James 
Brownell, Charles Fellhousen and James Speir. 

Divisions of the City. — From 1798 to 1820 
the city of Schenectady, as has been previously 
stated, was divided into four wards, but at the 
latter date, owing to the vast extent of territory 
comprised by the Third and Fourth wards, and 
the diversity of interests between the inhabitants 
of those wards and the citizens residing in the 
compact part of the city, the members of the 
Common Council applied to the Legislature to 
have a law enacted erecting the territory embraced 
in the Third and Fourth wards into separate towns. 
This petition of the municipal officers of Schenec- 
tady was granted, and a law was passed in 1820 
separating these two wards from the city and form- 
ing the present towns of Rotterdam and Glenville. 
From 1820 to 1837, Schenectady was divided into 
but two wards, but at the latter date a special act 
was passed by the Legislature dividing the city into 
four wards. The present division of the city into 
five wards was made in i860. 

Municipal Buildings. — The first Common 
Council met in a building called the City Hall, 
on the comer of Union and Ferry streets, on the 
site of the present residence of H. S. Barney. 
The meetings of the Board continued to be held 
there until the purchase of the present Union 
School building in 181 6, in which a Common 
Council Chamber was provided and used until the 
erection of the present Court House in 1833. At 
the latter place the Board continued to meet until 
the completion of the City Hall in 1881, on Jay 
street, for the erection of which Gen. W. K. Fuller, 
one of Schenectady's most public- spirited citizens, 
donated to the city the sum of $10,000. 


1 798-1 808. — Mayor, Joseph C. Yates. 

1807. — Treasurer, Cornelius Z. Van Santvoord; 
Clerk, David Boyd. 

1808. — Mayor, John Yates; Treasurer, Cornelius 
Z. Van Santvoord; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

1809. — Mayor, John Yates; Treasurer, Corne- 
lius Z.Van Santvoord; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

1 8 10. — Mayor, Abraham Oathout; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

181 1. — Mayor, John Yates; Treasurer, Maus 
Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

181 2. —Mayor, John Yates; Treasurer, Maus 
Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

181 3. — Mayor, Maus Schermerhorn ; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

1 8 14. — Mayor, Maus Schermerhorn; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Qerk, Harmanus Peek. 

181 5. — Mayor, Maus Schermerhorn; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

1816. — Mayor, Maus Schermerhorn; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

181 7. — Mayor, Henry Yates; Treasurer, Maus 
Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

1818. — Mayor, Henry Yates; Treasurer, Maus 
Van Vranken; Clerk, Harmanus Peek. 

1 8 19. — Mayor, Henry Yates; Treasurer, Maus 
Van Vranken; Clerk, Nicholas F. Beck. 

1820. — Mayor, Henry Yates; Treasurer, Maus 
Van Vranken; Clerk, Nicholas F. Beck. 

1821-1824. — Mayor, Henry Yates; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Nicholas F. Beck. 

1825. —Mayor, Isaac M. Schermerhorn. 

1 8 26-1 82 7. — ^Mayor, David Boyd; Treasurer, 
Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Abraham Van Ingen. 

1828-1829. — Mayor, Isaac M. Schermerhorn; 
Treasurer, Maus Van Vranken; Clerk, Abraham 
Van Ingen. 

1830. — Mayor, Isaac M. Schermerhorn; Treas- 
urer, Jacob Swits; Clerk, Abraham Van Ingen. 

1 83 1. — Mayor, Archibald L. Linn; Treasurer 
and Clerk same as 1 830. 

1832. — Mayor, John I. De Graff; Treasurer and 
Clerk same as 1830. 

1833. — Mayor, John I. De Graff; Recorder, Har- 
manus Peek; Treasurer, Jacob Swits; City Attor- 
ney, Abraham Van Ingen; Clerk, Abraham Van 

1834. — Officers same as preceding year. 

1835. — Mayor, Archibald L. Linn; remaining 
officers unchanged. 

1836. — Mayor, John I. De Graff; Treasurer, 
Thomas Harmon; Clerk, Abraham Van Ingen; At- 
torney, James M. Bouck. 

^837. — Mayor, Samuel W. Jones; Clerk, Stephen 
S. Riggs; remaining officers same as preceding 

1838. — ^Treasurer, Nicholas Swits; Attorney, 
Theodorick R. Van Ingen; remaining officers same 
as in 1837. 

1839. — Mayor, Archibald L. Linn; remaining 
officers same as preceding year. 

1840. — Mayor, Alexander C. Gibson; Treasurer, 
Nicholas Swits; Clerk, Stephen S. Riggs. 

1 84 1. — Mayor, Alexander C. Gibson; Treasurer, 
John B. Clute; Clerk, James Gilbert; Attorney, T. 
R. Van Ingen. 

1842. — Mayor, John I. De Graff; Treasurer, Vol- 
ney Freeman; Clerk, James M. Bouck; Attorney, 
Samuel W. Jones. 

1843. — Mayor, Alexander C. Gibson; Clerk, 
James M. Bouck; Attorney, S. H. Johnson. 

1844. — Mayor, Alexander C. Gibson; Treasurer, 
John B. Clute; Clerk, Harmanus S. Van Ingen; 
Attorney, S. H. Johnson. 

1845. — Mayor, John I. De Graff; Treasurer, 
Joseph Lyon; Clerk and Attorney same as preced- 
ipj^ year. 


1846-1S47. — Mayor, Peter Rowe; Treasurer, A. 
J, Thomson; Clerk, Thomas Palmer; Allomey, 
Stephen H. Daggett. 

1848-1849. — Mayor, James E, Van Horn; Treas- 
urer, James Walker. 

i85o^Mayor, Peter Rowe; Clerk, James M. 
Boucic; Attorney, Thomas Palmer. 

iSsi.^Mayor. Mordecai Myers; remaining 
officers same as in t850. 

1851. — Mayor, Abraham A. Van Voast; remain- 
ing officers same as in 185a 

1853.— Mayor, Abraham A. Van Voast: Clerk, 
James M. Bouck; Attorney, John G. McChesney. 

1854. — Mayor, Mordecai Myers; Recorder, 
Thomas Palmer: Treasurer, L. A. Yuung; City 
Allomey, J. G. McChesney; Clerk, D. A. Atwell. 

1855, — Mayor, Abel Smith; Recorder, Henry 
Stevens, who died while in office, and was suc- 
ceeded by David M, Moore; Treasurer, N. W. F. 
Clute; Clerk, D. A. Alwell. 

1856. — Mayor, Abel Smith; Recorder. David 
M. Moore; Treasurer, N. M. F. Clute; City -M- 
tomey, John G. McChesney: Clerk, D. A. Atwell. 

1857. — Mayor. Benjamin V. S. Vcddcr; Re- 
corder, David M. Moore; Treasurer, N. M, F. 
Clute; Attorney, John G. McChesney; Clerk. D. 
A. Atwell. 

1858. — Mayor. Alexander M. Vcdder; Re- 
corder, David M. Moore; Treasurer, N. M. F. 
Clute to January i. 1859, and Henry M. Vedder 
for balance of term; Aitorney, David C, Smith; 
Clerk, Stephen S. Riggs. 

1859, — David P. Forrest; Recorder, David M. 
Moore to January 1. i860, and Jay Cady for bal- 
ance of term; Treasurer, Frederick Clute. Jr., to 
September. 1859, and John Bradt for balance ol 
lerm: Clerk. Stephen H. S. Riggs to November, 
1859, and Charles ,S. Vedder for balance of lerm. 

i860, — Mayor. Benjamin E. Potter; Recorder, 
Jay Cady: Treasurer. John Bradt; Attorney, D. 
Cady ."^mith: Clerk, Charles S, ^'eddcr to October 
I, i860, and Daniel J. Darrow for balance of 

i86t. — Mayor, Arthur W. Hunter; Recorder, 
Jay Cady: Treasurer, John Bradt; Allomey, D. 
Cady Smith; Clerk, S. L, R, Buchanan. 

1862. — Same as preceding year. 

1863. — Mayor, Arthur \V. Hunter; Recorder, 
W. H. Helmer; Treasurer, John Bradt; Allomey, 
D. Cady Smith; Clerk, Henry B. Houston. 

1864. — Same as preceding year. 

1865. — Mayor, Andrew McMullen; Recorder, 
W. H. Helmer: Treasurer, John Bradt; Attorney, 
G. N. Timberman; Clerk, James M. Bouck. 

1866. — Mayor, Andrew McMullen; Recorder, 
W. H. Helmer; Treasurer, John Bradt; Atlomcy, 
D. M. Chadsey; Clerk, Frank Se>-mour. 

iSftj.^Mayor, Andrew McMullen; Recorder, 
S. I- R. Buchanan; Treasurer. John Bradt; Clerk, 
Edward Hibbard; Allomey. A. J. Thomson. 

1868. — Mayor, Andrew McMullen; Recorder, 
S. I. R. Buchanan; Treasurer, John Bradl; Clerk, 
Edward Hibbard; Attorney, D, Cady Smith, 

1869. — Mayor, A Van Voast; Recorder, Edfiar 
M. Jenkins; Treasurer, John Bradl; Clerk, J. Van 
Vranken; Attorney, D. CadySmilb, 

i870.^Mayor, Abraham A. Van Voast; Re- 
corder. Edgar M. Jenkins; Treasurer, John Bradl; 
Clerk, J. Van Vranken; Attorney, D. Cady 

1871. — Mayor, William J. Van Home; Recorder, 
Edgar M. Jenkins; Treasurer, John Bradl; Clerk, 
H. W. Dcnninglon ; Allorney, D. Cady Smith. 

187a.— Mayor, William J. Van Home; Re- 
corder, Edgar M. Jenkins; Treasurer, John Bradt; 
Clerk, Howard Barringer; Attorney, J. S. I.andon, 

,873.— Mayor, A. W. Hunter; Recorder, Edgar 
M, Jenkins; Treasurer, John Bradl; Clerk, How- 
ard Barringer; Allomey, J. S. Landon. 

1874.— Mayor. A. W. Hunter; Recorder, Sam- 
uel T, Benedict to December 15, 1874, and W. 
H. Helmer for balance of term; Treasurer, John 
Bradl; Clerk, H. W. Dennington ; Attorney, E. 
W. Paige. 

1875.— Mayor, Peter B. Yates; Recorder, Wil- 
liam Howes Smith; Treasurer, John Bradt; Clerk, 
H. W. Dennington; Attomey, E. W. Paige. 

1876. — Mayor, Peter B. Vales, who died July 4, 
1876, and was succeeded by William Howes Smith, 
July 1 1, 1876 ; Recorder, Wm. H. Smith to July 
11, 1876, and Benj. L. Conde for balance of term; 
Treasurer. John Bradt; Clerk, H. W. Denning- 
ton; Attomey. A. J. Thomson. 

1877. —Mayor, Wm. Howes Smith; Recorder, 
Marcus N. .Millard ; Treasurer, John Hradt; Clerk, 
H. W. Denninglon; Aitorney, A, J, Thomson. 

1878. — Mayor, Wm. Howes Smith; Recorder, 
Marcus N. Millard; Treasurer, John Bradt; Clerk, 
H. W. Dcnninglon; Allomey, A. J. Thomson. 

1879, — Mayor. Joseph B. Graham; Recorder, 
Marcus N. Millarti; Treasurer, John Bradl; Clerk, 
H. W. Dennington; Atlomey, S. VV, Jackson. 

1880. — Mayor, Joseph B. Graham; Recorder, 
Marcus N. Milliard; Treasurer, John Bradt, who 
died January 31, 1881, and was succeeded by 
appointmenl for balance of the year by II. W. 
Denninglon ; Clerk. H. W. Dennington to Feb- 
maiy 8, 1881, and E. E. Kteigsman for balanccof 
lerm; Atlomcy, S, W. Jackson. 

1881.— Mayor, A. A. Van Voasl: Recorder, 
Henry S. De Forest ; Treasurer, H. \\'. Dcnning- 
lon; Clerk, E. E. Kreigsman; Attomey, S. W. 

i88i.— Mayor, A. A. Van Voast; Recorder, 
Henry S. De Forest; Treasurer, H. W. Denning- 
ton; Clerk, E. E. Kreigsman; Allomey, S. W. 

1883. — Mayor, John Young; Recorder, H. S. 
De foresl; Treasurer, H. W. Denninglon; Clerk, 
James Hanley, Jr.; Atlomcy, A. J, 'Thomson, 

1 884. -Mayor, John Young; Recorder. H. S. 
De Forest ; Treasurer, H. W. Dennington ; Clerk, 
James Hanley, Jr.: .\itorney, A J. Thomson. 

1885,— Mayor, Henr>-S. De Forest; Recorder, 
James H. Flinn; Treasurer, H. W, Dennington; 
Clerk, Horatio G. Glen ; Allorney, A. J. Thom- 




John Bradt was born in Schenectady, January 
24, 1822. His father, Peter Bradt, died as the re- 
sult of an accident in the younger years of his son, 
and the latter was thrown upon his own exertions 
in early life. His education was purely a business 
one, but he was of such a practical turn of mind 
that he utilized it with wonderful success, early 
displaying much sagacity in the settlement of his 
father's estate. When quite a young man he 
became confidential clerk and agent of Hon. 
Henry Yates, of the firm of Yates & MeEntyre, 
New York, and in this position he developed those 
qualities which marked him as a correct business 
man and successful financier, laying the founda- 
tion of his future monetary success. 

On the decease of Mr. Yates, Mr. Bradt, then 
only about twenty-three years old, became execu- 
tor and trustee of his vast estate. In this capacity 
he had entire charge of all affairs of the estate, 
which necessarily involved transactions in several 
States of the Union. Several years were consumed 
in reaching a final settlement, during which Mr. 
Bradt attended to the interests intrusted to him 
with a fidelity that won the admiration of all in- 
terested persons. 

He now returned to Schenectady, which was 
his permanent home. Without solicitation on his 
part, or opposition from any quarter, he was ap- 
pointed Treasurer of the Canal Board, a position 
which he held several years. August 2, 1859, he 
was appointed Treasurer of the City of Schenec- 
tady, to succeed Frederick Clute, Jr. April 2, 
1 860, he was elected to the same position and re- 
elected each successive term until his death. In 
an official point of view his name was long a 
household word in Schenectady. He held this 
responsible trust longer than any other incumbent 
of the treasurer's office. The office was conferred 
term after term on that sound principle, so rarely 
acted upon, that the office should seek the man, 
not the man the office, and was a testimonial of 
the public confidence in his strict integrity and re- 
markable financial ability. One who knew him 
well wrote : " Could it have been possible or right 
to have extended his sphere of usefulness, we verily 
believe he would have made an excellent Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, or of the Department of the 
Interior, in the general government" An indefatig- 
able worker, he was always found in his office at- 
tending to his duties, for he believed that, once 
elevated to a public trust, it was incumbent on him 
to discharge all duties faithfully and impartially. 
A Democrat, and markedly consistent as such, he 
was no politician, and never indulged in heated 
discussions upon public affairs. 

In his private business relations Mr. Bradt was 
successful, and he was at the same time so upright 
in all his dealings as to win the confidence of all with 
whom he came in contact His operations were 
conducted methodically, and with foresight and 
sagacity. He made such judicious investments in 
real property that he came to be regarded as one 
of the chief real estate owners of the city. He was 

looked upon as the best posted authority in regard 
to local real estate values. His skill as an ac- 
countant was well known, and his services were 
often sought by eminent lawyers and jurists 
throughout the State in the settlement of tedious 
and difficult litigation suits. From time to time 
he was entrusted with the settlement of several 
estates. As a landlord he was always kind and 
forbearing to the poor, and under a quiet, unex- 
pressive exterior, those who knew him best dis- 
cerned a generous, unassuming nature. 

In 1854, Mr. Bradt married Miss Margaret A. 
Hover, of Schenectady. He died suddenly Janu- 
ary 31, 1 88 1, leaving a widow and four children. 
His only daughter is the wife of Henry McMullen. 
The other children are sons. His name will long 
have a place in the memory of the leading business 
and professional men of this section, and its place 
in the history of Schenectady is one of proud 



In the early history of Schenectady, before it was 
incorporated as a city, it devolved upon the Jus- 
tices of the Peace, appointed by the Governor, to see 
that peace and order were maintained, and they 
had power to appoint certain persons whose duty 
it was to arrest and report to the Justices all offend- 
ers against the laws. 

In 1788 a law was passed by the Legislature 
giving the Justices of the Peace authority to appoint 
six night watchmen and an officer from the citizens 
residing in the township of Schenectady south- 
ward from the Mohawk River and not more than 
three-quarters of a mile from the Dutch Church. 
These persons so selected were required to keep 
watch and guard in their turn in such manner and 
time as the Justi^ diirected. Only one watchman 
was on duty afi uffiftf.' The Justices prescribed the 
rules and regulations to govern the watchmen, and a 
fine was imposed on any officer neglecting his 
duty. This was the first regular police service in- 
stituted at Schenectady. 

This manner of appointing night watchmen was 
repealed when the charter of Schenectady was 

In the act incorporating the city of Schenectady, 
passed March 26, 1798, the Common Council was 
given power to designate the number of constables 
to be elected in each ward. From and up to the 
present date one constable was elected in each 
ward, and to them was given the same powers in 
criminal actions now possessed by the policemen. 
There was no regular salary attached to this office. 
The only pay received for services consisted of 
regularly prescribed fees. 

June 17, 18 1 7, the number of night watchmen 
was increased to eight. They were appointed by 
the Common Council and were placed under the 
direction of two Superintendents, also appointed 
by the Common Council. The Superintendents 
had entire supervision of the watchmen, prescribing 
the rules and regulations governing them and the 
time each should serve. Only two watchmen were 
on duty at a time. When on patrol, the watchmen 



carried a staff five feet long, and were obliged to be 
on duty from nine o'clock in the evening until day- 
break. At every hour of the night they announced, 
in an audible voice, the time. These officers were 
required to maintain the peace and see that the 
laws were enforced and obeyed. A watch-house 
was provided for the imprisonment of all offenders 
against the law. 

March lo, 1815, a law was passed by the Legis- 
lature, creating a Board of Magistrates, consisting 
of two persons selected by the Common Council 
from the Aldermen or Justices of the Peace, who 
were empowered to attend to the relief of the poor 
and to punish petty offences committed within 
the city limits. They were required to receive the 
report of the night watchman every morning and to 
proceed to the examination of all persons appre- 
hended by the watchman. The Common Council 
selected one or more constables, called police 
constables, who were required to serve all warrants, 
summonses and processes by the Board of Magis- 
trates. These constables were expected to arrest 
and report all offenders against the laws and ordi- 
nances of the city, and bring such persons for trial 
before the Board, which had jurisdiction similar to 
the present police justices. The magistrates were 
allowed an annual salary of one hundred and fifty 
dollars, and the constables fifty dollars. 

About 1830 a High Constable was chosen by 
the Common Council, pursuant to an act of the 
Legislature. He represented the entire city, and 
had jurisdiction over criminal matters such as is 
now exercised by the Chief of Police. His term of 
office was limited to one year. The High Consta- 
ble and the Ward Constables continued to exercise 
their police powers in maintaining peace and order 
until the Capital Police Force was organized in 

March 28, 1842, the office of Police Justice was 
created by an act of the Legislature, which pro- 
vided that the Board of Supervisors should appoint 
one of the Justices of the Peace of the city to at- 
tend to complaints, examinations and trials of a 
criminal nature. April ist of the following year 
another act of the Legislature was passed, provid- 
ing that the Police Justice should be appointed by 
the Governor, with the consent of the Senate, and 
that his term of office should be for three years. 
March 31,1848, another act was passed, providing 
that the office of Police Justice, High Constable and 
four Justices of the Peace should be elective offi- 
ces. The term of Police Justice was extended to 
four years and that of High Constable and Justices 
of the Peace to three years. 

April 22, 1865, a law was passed by the Legis- 
lature creating the City of Albany and the several 
adjoining towns a district known as the Capital 
Police District of the State of New York. This 
act provided that three Commissioners and two 
Advisory Commissioners of Capital Police should 
be appointed by the Governor, with the consent of 
the Senate. To these Commissioners, called a Po- 
lice Board, was intrusted the appointment of Su- 
perintendents, Captains, Sergeants and Patrolmen, 
and had the entire supervision of all matters relat- 

ing to the police government of the district. April 
ID, 1866, by an act of the Legislature, the Capital 
Police District was extended so as to embrace the 
City of Schenectady, which city was limited to the 
service of seven patrolmen, at an annual salar>' of 
five hundred dollars each, to be paid out of the 
contributions of the city to the Capital Police 
Fund. A. W. Hunter, of this city, was appointed 
Police Commissioner for this city. 

It seems that the passage of this act was not 
done in response to the wishes of the people of this 
city, for the following year the Board of Super- 
visors passed a resolution condemning the passage 
of the act, and asking for its appeal. But nothing 
was done in this direction beyond remonstrating 
against it, and this system of police protection re- 
mained in force till the passage of the Act to Or- 
ganize and Establish a Police for the City of Sche- 
nectady, April 15, 1870. 

The passage of this act provided for the election 
of two Police Commissioners by the people, who, 
in conjunction with the Mayor, should constitute a 
Police Board, having the general charge of all mat- 
ters pertaining to the Police force. These Com- 
missioners are elected for two years, and perform 
their duties without compensation. The act cre- 
ating them provides that they shall select not more 
than ten policemen, whose term of service shall 
continue during good behavior and capacity to per- 
form the duties required. The pay of policemen 
is fixed by the Commissioners, and cannot be less 
than five hundred dollars nor more than eight hun- 
dred dollars per annum. A Chief of Police and 
an Assistant Chief are selected from the ten mem- 
bers composing the force by the Board. The Chief 
of Police, under the direction of the Board, is the 
chief executive officer of the Police Dejwrtment, 
and is obliged to keep a book of records of pro- 
ceedings in his department, and all the services 
rendered by himself and the several policemen. 
During the absence of the Police Justice, the Chief 
possesses the power of that officer to entertain com- 
plaints for criminal offences, and to issue warrants 
for the arrest of persons charged with criminal ac- 
tions. The salary of the Chief of Police is fixed 
by the Police Board, when approved by the Com- 
mon Council, and cannot be less than five hundred 
nor more than twelve hundred dollars per year. 

The present Police Commissioners are: Peter M. 
Doty and George Buskerk; Chief of Police, Wil- 
liam S. Campbell; Assistant Chief, Frank V. De 

Salary of the Chief is $850; Assistant Chief, 
$800; patrolmen, $730. 

When the first police force was organized under 
the Capital Police system, the city furnished a 
station-house in Wall street, in the present store oc- 
cupied by Thomas Ody. Here were provided suit- 
able cells for the confinement of prisoners until 
final disposition was made of them before the 
Police Justice. A Police Court was arranged on 
the second floor over the Police Station. 

This building was used for this purpose until the 
completion of the present City Hall, in 1881. 
Here commodious apartments are provided for 



Police Court, Police Justice's offices, office of Chief 
of Police, sleeping apartment for Patrolmen, and 
cells for the confinement of prisoners. 

Frederick Eisenmenger, Police Justice, was ap- 
pointed by the Common Council May 2, 1882, 
and elected to the same office for four years in 
April, 1883. He is also chairman of the Board of 
Magistrates to distribute relief to the poor. 

William L. Campbell, Chief of Police, has been 
a police officer here since August 3, 1869. ^^ ^^ 
served the city faithfully, and from the accounts 
kept in his office, records back to 1 798 can be 


Before Schenectady was incorporated as a city, 
the means for the extinguishment of fires were 
limited to the use of leather buckets. Each dwell- 
ing was supplied witli as many as the authorities 
prescribed. Every able-bodied citizen, in case of 
fire, was obliged to render all the assistance within 
his power, and any refusal to do so was an offence 
against the safety of the inhabitants, deemed worthy 
of a fine and, in certain cases, imprisonment. The 
first law passed by the Legislature relating to 
protection from fires in Schenectady was on March 
I, 1788. This act provided that the Justices of 
the Peace should select from the inhabitants living 
south of the Mohawk River, and not more than 
three-quarters of a mile from the Dutch Church, 
twenty able-bodied citizens to act as firemen, such 
persons to have the care and management of all 
fire apparatus and to render assistance at fires. 
The Justices made and established the rules and 
regulations governing the firemen, and had power 
to remove any fireman for disobeying them. The 
persons appointed under this act probably ^iTSli-" 
tuted the first regular fire company ever organized 
in this city. y 

The first date we find any reference made to fire 
engines was in 1797. September nth of this year 
the trustees of Schenectady, at a regular meeting, 
directed by resolution that a letter be sent to Alex- 
ander Ellice, London, England, directing him to 
purchase two fire engines, one large one at a cost 
of 1 20 guineas, and a small house engine at a cost 
of 20 guineas. These engines were soon after ob- 
tained and used for many years. They were 
operated by hand — small and crude affairs even 
compared with the hand engines used at a later 
date. The larger of these two engines was about 
eight or ten feet in length, between three and four 
feet wide, and stood three feet high. The condens- 
ing case, inclosing the works, was placed in 
the center of the machine, considerably higher than 
the main portion of the case. On the top was an 
elbow or ** goose-neck," to which, when the engine 
was at work, was attached a pipe, through which 
the stream of water was directed upon the flames. 
As this engine had no suction, it was supplied 
by means of buckets, the water being drawn from 
neighboring wells, carried to and emptied into the 
engine through an aperture in the side of the box, 
so as not to interfere with the working of the en- 
gine. This box held many gallons of water. The 

arms or pumping handles were placed fore and aft, 
working lengthwise of the box, the bows striking 
on the ends; and, when full manned, four men 
could work on each arm, making eight in all. Such 
were the engines in use at this lime, which were 
considered instruments of utility and beauty. 

When Scheneciady was incorporated as a city 
there were two fire companies, the members 
of which were appointed by the Mayor and 
Common Council. At this period, and for a num- 
ber of years after, it was a duty incumbent upon 
the Mayor and Aldermen to attend all fires and 
give personal supervision to the work of the fire- 
men. Indeed, at this time the city magistrates 
performed the same services in later years dele- 
gated to the chief engineer and his assistants. 

May 1 2, 1 798, an ordinance was passed by the 
Common Council which provided that two persons 
should be appointed for each ward, called 
Inspectors, who were required at certain times 
in each month to inspect the dwellings in 
their respective wards and ascertain if proper pre- 
caution was taken to guard against fire, and to 
make a report to the Aldermen of the condition of 
the buildings in the ward as to their safety from 
fire. This ordinance contained many regulations 
respecting the necessary things to be done by prop- 
erty owners for the prevention of fires, and any 
citizen whose dwelling did not comply with these 
regulations, who was reported by the inspectors, 
had a limited time to remedy such defect If he 
failed to do so he was fined. 

In 1798 a company was organized called the 
Fire Bag Company. To this company was princi- 
pally intrusted the work of removing personal 
property from buildings exposed to danger by fire 
to places of safety. Such property, when removed, 
ihey-were expected to guard and protect from loss 
by thieves until it should be taken care of by the 
owners. This comigny consisted of twenty-one 
members, and conumied in existence for many 
years. The first members were : David Tomlin- 
son. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Jr., Gilbert R. 
Livingston, James Murdock, Jonathan Walton, 
George Leslie, William N. Lighthall, Dorcey 
Jones, James I. Hoyt, William J. Teller, Law- 
rence Van Baskerk, Dow Clule, James Anderson, 
Robert Wendell, Samuel Thorn, Luther Halsey, 
James Adair, Andrew M. Farlan, Jr., Abraham 
Van Ingen, Henry Yates, Jr. , William Corlett. 

In 1 798 the fire limits were defined as extending 
one mile due north from the northwest comer of 
Union College building, thence due west one mile, 
thence south two miles, thence east two miles, 
thence north two miles, thence west to the place of 
beginning, two miles. 

The charter of the city of Schenectady, as 
amended April 2, 1813, provided that not more 
than eighty able-bodied freeholders should be se- 
lected bv the Common Council from the two wards 
of the city to act as firemen, who should have the 
care and matiagement of the engines and tools pro- 
vided for the extinguishment of fires, which per- 
sons were to be called the Firemen of the City of 



The fire district at this time extended from the 
south side of the Mohawk River, and not more 
than three-quarters of a mile from the site of the 
present First Reformed Dutch Church. 

The first Hook and Judder Company was 
formed in 1814, and consisted of ten members. 
This company was provided with the necessary 
apparatus by the city and was under the super- 
vision of a captain and an assistant appointed by 
the Common Council. 

Ax-MEN. — In 1 8 14 a company was organized 
called the Ax-men, It consisted of two members 
under the same supervision as the Hook and 
Ladder Company. Each man was provided with 
an ax, and expected to cut down fences and 
buildings where necessary, to check the spread of 

The first Superintendent of Firemen was ap- 
pointed in 1 8 14. To th's officer was not only in- 
trusted the general super\ision of the firemen at 
fires, but he was required to see that the engines and 
all other fire apparatus were kept in proper work- 
ing order. His duties were somewhat similar to 
those imposed upon the present Chief Engineer. 

In 18 1 5 there were four fire companies in the 
city, exclusive of the Hook and Ladder and Ax- 
men. They were designated as Nos. i, 2, 3 and 
4. Company No. i had quarters near the present 
stores of Walker and Mains; No. 2, near comer of 
Front and Ferry streets; No. 3, a few doors below 
the residence of Edward Walker, on Liberty 
street; No. 4, near the location of the present J. 
D. Campbell Hose House. Each one of these 
companies had fire engines at this date. The en- 
gine purchased in England in 1797 was still in use, 
and the other engines, though larger, were similar 
in construction. 

The laws of the city were very strict in regard to 
the duty of citizens at time of a fire in these days. 
Every able-bodied citizen was pressed into service, 
and it was no uncommon sight to see a line of men 
nearly a quarter of a mile long, standing in a 
close line, reaching from the nearest point where 
water could be obtained to the engine, passing 
buckets of water from one to the other, to supply 
the engine with water. Even women at times were 
engaged in this work. A fine was imposed on any 
citizen who refused to perform such work when 
requested to do so by the city magistrates. 

From pictures of the larger engines used at this 
date, we see simply a long tank or box placed upon 
wheels. On each side of the tank was a long arm 
or handle extending the entire length of the tank, 
which worked on the principle of a pump-handle. 
At a time of fire this engine was drawn as near as 
possible to the scene of destruction, the tank was 
then filled with water, and then, by means of the 
pump, the water vras forced from the tank through 
a hose. About thirty men could work at the pump 
of the largest engines. Although there was much 
labor, requiring a large force of men, attending the 
use of these early engines, they did good service, 
and prevented any extensive conflagration until the 
year 18 19, when, notwithstanding the most 
strenuous exertions of our firemen, spoken of at 

that time in the most praiseworthy manner, the 
entire lower portion of our city was destroyed. 

The Teapot. — There are those living who can 
remember the small engine used at this date 
(181 5), and for many years after, by the members 
of Company No. 3. If was a small engine, called 
the * * Teapot, " on account of its appearance. It was 
simply a tank, with a pump attached, capable of 
being carried when full of- water by four men. It 
was of great service at a fire, often being carried 
into a burning building and doing excellent work 
where the larger engines could not be used. This 
engine was used for many years. 

Double Deck Engine. — In 1825 the Common 
Council purchased the first double deck engine 
ever used in this city. It was given in charge of 
Company No. 4, and was something of a wonder 
at this time. It was purchased from a firm in 
Philadelphia. It was larger than the other engines 
in use in the city, but worked on the same princi- 
ple. The two decks made it possible for more 
men to work at the pumps, and thus more force 
was given the water. Some of the firemen of this 
period who are now living, claim that this engine 
could throw a stream of water even higher than the 
modem steam engines. 

Fire Wardens. — In 1825 five Fire Wardens were 
appointed, who had supervision over the buildings 
erected in the fire district, as to the regulations to 
be observed under the laws of the city relating to 
safety from fires. The first Fire Wardens were : 
Isaac S. Miller, Benjamin M. Munford, John Van 
Voast, Nicholas Van Vranken and George Mc- 

Incorporation of the Fire Department of 
THE City. — April 21, 1828, a law was passed by the 
I^epsUture constituting all persons belonging to 
the several fire companies a body politic, under 
the name of "The Fire Department of the City of 
Schenectady." This act provided that each com- 
pany of firemen should choose two representatives, 
who should select a president and vice-president, 
and, out of the whole body of firemen, three trus- 
tees, a treasurer, secretary and a collector. The 
first representatives were George McQueen, John 
Van Voast, Richard F. Ward, Myndert Van Guy- 
sling, Cornelius L. Barhydt, Henry Peek, Robert 
Osborne and Peter Bradt The first president was 
George McQueen ; the first vice-president, John 
Van Voast ; the first trustees, Joseph Mynderse, 
Jacob De Forest, Jr., and Harmanus W. Peek ; 
the first treasurer, Henry Peek ; the first secretary, 

Joseph Mynderse; and the first collector, Richard 
'. Ward. 

The trustees managed the affairs and disposed 
of the funds of the corporation according to the 
by-laws, rules and regulations of the corporation. 
By this act, the time of incorporation was extended 
to April I, 1848, and the firemen were granted all 
the rights and privileges then extended by law to 
the firemen of the city of New York. 

First Hose Company. — In 1830 the first Hose 
Company was formed for the purpose of attending 
to the hose of the fire companies, but in 1834 it 
was disbanded and converted into a supply com- 


ffistvkr oP THE covmr of Schenectady. 

pany of twelve members. The members of this 
company were expected to supply the engines wiih 
water, bui, a few years later, the purchase of suction 
engines did away with ihis work, and the company 
was disbanded, ^ 

The First Siction Engine, — About the year 
1836, three suction engines were purchased by the 
city for the use of the Fire Department. Two were 
called the Seeley engines, the other was known as 
the Button engine. Both were consiructed at 

These engines were a great improvement over 
those heretofore used by llie firemen. They were 
hand engines, but did away with the laborious 
and difficult task of supplying the engines with 
water by the use of buckets. 

The first three engines bought were given to 
Companies Nos. 1, 2 and 4, A few years later a 
similar engine was purchased for Company No. 3. 
These engines were successfully used till the 
steam engines came into general use many years 

The First Chiek Ekoinkkr. — September 16, 
1836, the Common Council passed a law creating 
the oilice of Chief Engineer of the Fire Depart- 
ment In December of the sameyear the offices of 
First and Second Assistant Engineer were created. 

The first Chief Engineer was Richard F. Ward. 
The first Assistant Engineers were John C. Bum- 
ham and James £. Van Horn. 

These officers were subject 10 the direction of 
the Fire Wardens, but the firemen received their 
orders through the Chief and his assistants Sep- 
tember z, 1846, the Chief and his assistants were 
given exclusive authority to direct the action of 
all firemen. 

Act or Incorporation of 1862. — April 2, 1862. 
an act was passed by the Legislature incorporating 
all persons belonging to the several fire companies 
in a body politic, by the title of ' ' The Fire Depart- 
ment of the City of Schenectady," for the term of 
ihirtyyears. Witha few changes, this act is similar 
to the act of incorporation of 1828. 

First Steam Fire Engine.— The first steam fire 
engine was purchased at Portland, Maine, by the 
city, February 14, 1864, for $5,000, but was not 
received and accepted until the following year, ■ It 
was named the A. W. Hunter engine, in honor of 
the presiding mayor at that time. It was placed in 
engine house No, 4 upon its arrival, and is still used 
for theexlinguishmenl of fires. The first engineer 
was John Schermerhorn : as-istant engineer, Jere- 
miah Tenbrook ; fireman, Vedder Peters. The 
salary of the fireman was fixed at $500 per year, 
and that of engineer and assistant engineer at fioo. 
In 1 867 another steam engine was purchased for 
No. 3 engine house, called the Andrew McMullen 
steamer, and in 1869 a steamer for No. 1 engine 
house, called the A. A. Van VoasL Tliomas 
Carroll was appointed engineer of steamer No, i, 
and John J. Hart for steamer No. i, 

These three steamers were used till the year 
1872, when the completion of the Schenectady 
Waler-works, and the arrangements made with 
this company for supplying the city with water 

for the extinguishment of fires, made their use 
unnecessary. Steamers Andrew McMullen and 
A. A. Van Voast were withdrawn from service im- 
mediately and sutaequcntly sold. Steamer Na i 
(.\. U'. Hunter) was retained and is still used. 

In 1871, in consequence of tlie new system 
adopted of fire protection, the entire Fire Depart- 
ment was reorganized by the Common Council, 
Companies Nas. i, 3 and 4 were disbanded, but 
soon after reorganized. Company No. i, which 
retained the steamer A. W. Hunter, was the first 
to be enrolled. Companies Nos. 3 and 4 were 
soon after reorganized as Hose Companies. A 
hose depot was established this year in the build- 
ing used by Company No. t, and has been used 
ever since for such purpose. 

SuPERiKTENDENT of Hose, — In 1872 the office 
of .Superintendent of Hose was established. James 
W. Clute was the first superintendent appointed, 
and has held the position continuously up to the 
present time. This officer is obliged 10 inspect, 
clean and keep all the hose used by the depart- 
ment in serviceable condition, to keep the steamer 
in running order, and to accompany and regulate 
it when its use is required. 

The history of the Volunteer Fire Department, 
from the incorporation of this cily to the present 
time, has ever been a credit 10 the city and an 
honor to the men who composed it 

Schenectady has been remarkably free from any 
extensive conflagration in many years, and credit 
for this fact can be attributed solely to the self- 
sacrificing spirit, intelligent labor and praiseworthy 
exertions of its firemen. The present efficient force 
has been ever ready to respond to the call of duly. 
and by zealous, united elTorts has saved much val- 
uable property. 

Among our oldest living firemen are: -Albert Van 
Brunt, Stephen Truax, D. Cady Smith, I.evi Case, 
Martin De Forest, John 0. Horsfall, Edward 
Rosa, Benjamin F. Lyons. Richard Uenson and 
John B. t^lute. 

HisTOkv OF THE Different Fire Companies. 
The first year from which we can get a connected 
history of the different fire companies organized in 
this city is 1824, 

Following will be found ihe history of each 
company since 1824, not previously mentioned, 
down lo the present time : 

Company No. 1. — From 1824 to 1858, when il 
was disbanded, this company was known simply as 
Engine Comfiany No. i. Il was reorganized, 1858, 
with 20 members, under the name of Protec- 
lion Hose Company No, i, and retained this 
name until it was disbanded, by order of ihc Com- 
mon Council, September 24, 1872. Il was re- 
organized, with 18 members, .'September 27 of 
this year, as Ellis Hose Company No. 1. It dis- 
banded May I, 1876, but reorganized two days 
from this date as Protection Hose Company No. 

1. This company is adll in existence, and has i; 

Company No. 2. — From 1824 to May 16, 1855, 
this company was known as Engine Company Na 

2, It was reorganized starch 4, 1857, as the Del- 




uge Company No. z. It suiisequendy disbanded 
and did not organize until 1873, when it assumed 
the name of Van Vranken Hose Company. This 
company still exists, and has a membership of 30. 

CoMPANV No. y — ^This company, from 1824 10 
1835, when it was disbanded, was called Engine 
Company No, 3. March 18, 1835, it was reor- 
ganized, but a few years after disbanded. March 
3, 1857. it was reorganized as Niagara Company 
No. 3, which name it retained to October y. 1867, 
when it was reorganized, with 27 members, as 
Rosa Hose Company No. 3, It was disbanded by 
the Common Council, September 24, 1871, and 
reorganized, with 33 members, January 10, 1876, 
as the Cain Hose Company No. 3. It disbanded 
September 16, 1879, and reorganized October 14, 
1879, as Neptune Hose Company No. 3. This 
company is still in existence, and has a member- 
ship of 20. 

Company No, 4.^From 1824 to December 15, 
1847. this company was known as Engine Com- 
pany No. 4- It was disbanded in 1847, and re- 
organized January 1, 1848, and again disbanded 
May z, 1856. It was reorganized August 16, 
1856. October 6, 1857. the name was changed 
to Neptune Hose Company No. i. June ifi, 1867, 
it was reorganized, with 28 members, as the Hath- 
away Hose Company No. 4. September 24- 1872, 
it was disbanded by the Common Council, but 
immediately reor^nized, with 19 members, as 
the Stanford Hose Company. May 3, 1876, it 
again disbanded, and reorganized, with 25 mem- 
bers, June 13. 1876, as the J, D. Campbell Hose 
Company. 'T'his company is still in the service, 
and has a membership of 29. 

Company No. 5. — This company was organized, 
with 36 members, November 18, 1835. It at one 
time was the Mohawk Hose Company. August 
28, i860, it was disbanded, and not reorganized 
till July 21, 1876. when it was called the E. W. 
Paige Hose Company, This company still exists, 
and has amembershipof 17. 

Company No. 6.— This company was organized, 
with 48 members, November 20, 1838, and existed 
for many years, when it was disbanded. January 
14. 1878. it was reorganized, with 30 members, as 
the J. S. Myers Hose Company. It disbanded in 
1881, and reorganized March 13, 1884, with 19 
members, as ihe Elmer Ellis Hose Company. This 
company has at present a membership of 23. 

Ax, Hook and Ladher Company. — The first 
ax, hook and ladder company was organized in 
1814, and continued to exist until disbanded, 
June 5, 1856, but was reorganized on the same 
date. Ii disbanded August 17, i860. 

July 8, 1862, Hook and Ladder Company No. 
I was organized, with 55 members, and continued 
in the service to December 24, 1867. when it was 
disbanded, since which date no company of this 
kind has existed in the city. 

Fire Gl'ards. — A company called the Fire 
Guards was organized September 6, 1836, from 
the Supply Company, which disbanded at thai 
time. The Fire Guards disbanded August 5, 1845, 
and have never been reorganized. 

Eaglk Hosb Cokpany, — A company called the 
Eagle Hose Company was organized from the 
members of the Fire Guards. Augusts, 1845. It 
was disbanded January 4. 1851, and has never 
been reorganized. 

Following is a list of Chief Engineers of the 
Fire Department since 1862 ; James Babcock, 
Patrick Kelly (three terms), Thomas H. Kennedy, 
Edward Ellis (four terms), William E. Walker 
(two terms), Ezra McCue, Francis Cain (four 
terms), George B, Swortfiguer, Martin Eagan, 
William J. Anthony. Arden W. Weller, John A, 
Vedder (three terms). 

Following is a list of Assistant Engineers since 
[862: 1863, Jaifrey Thompson and John Frame; 
1864, Ephraim Clow, Walter Clute ; 1865. 
Ephraim Clow, Walter Clute ; 1866, Walter Clute, 
James .Smith; 1867. Joseph Parker, W. S. Van 
Voast; 1868, William Martin, John Collins; 
1867, P. H. McDermott, William Stevens; 1870, 
Charles A. Clark, Francis Cain ; 1871, William 
Fuller, Peter M. Doty ; 1872, Edward Van Epps, 
Frederick Esenminger ; 1873, Joseph Parker, 
John J. Wheaton ; 1874, John A. Vedder, Francis 
Cain; 1875, Edward Coialey, Jacob De Long; 

1876, John A. Vedder, George B. Swortfiguer; 

1877, George B. Swortfiguer, Martin Eagan; 

1878, Martin Eagan, William J. Anthony ; 1879, 
William J. Anthony, Arden W. Weller ; 1880, 
Arden W, Weller, Andrew Coleman ; 1881, 
Andrew Coleman, Peter M. Dody ; i88z. Elias 
T. \'an Patten, William P. Daley; 1883, William 
P. Daley, James C. Dougherty; 1884. James C. 
Dougheny, Mynden Scrofford ; 1885, James C, 
Dougherty, William P, Daley. 


The Bar of Schenectady County is as ancient as 
that of Albany County. Its lawyers practiced in 
the courts established under the Dutch regime as 
early as 1626, but for at least one hundred and 
twenty years Schenectady County formed a part of 
Albany County, and the lawyers of Schenec- 
tady were members of the Albany bar. On 
March, 1809, however. Schenectady County was 
organized from territory taken from the western 
portion of the latter county, but it embraced no 
portion of the manor of Rensseiacrwyck, 

Immediately after the formation of the County 
of Schenectady its bar was organized, and, in con- 
formity to the constitution and laws of the Stale, its 
counts- courts were also organized : the Court of 
Common Pleas, Court of General Sessions of the 
Peace, and the Surrogate's Court ; and times and 
places were also appointed for holding the Circuit 
Courts, Courts of Oyer and Terminer, and Special 
Equity and Supreme Court terms. 

The judiciary of the county consisted of the 
Hon, Joseph C, Yaies. appointed a Justice of the 
Supreme Court by Gov. Tompkins a few weeks pre- 
vious to the act establishing the county. Joseph C. 
Yates, at the time of his appointment, was a dis- 
tinguished lawyer residing at Schenectady, and 
one of the most prominent characters in the 




history of the State. We shall refer to him more 
at large hereafter. 

Hon. Gerrit S. Vedder was appointed First 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the county; 
William J. Teller, Surrogate ; Peter F. Vedder, 
Clerk ; James V. S. Riley, Sheriff ; James Barent, 
Under Sheriff; Richard Oothout, Crier of the 

The first court held in Schenectady County after 
its organization was a Court of General Sessions, 
which began May 9, 1809. We take the following 
firom the records of the Court of that date: 

At a Court of General Sessions of the Peace, 
held in and for the County of Schenectady at the 
City of Schenectady, and at the Hall of the said 
county, on Tuesday, the 9th day of May, 1 809. 

Present — Hon. Gerrit S. Vedder, First Judge. 

OHN Yates, 


ACOB A. Vrooman, 
Peter C. Van Slycke, 
Court opened. 

The Sheriff returned the precept for summoning 
the Grand Jury for this Court with a panel of 
Grand Jurors annexed, and the following Grand 
Jurors appeared and were sworn : 

Charles Kane, foreman ; James Rom, Henry 
H. Peck, Eri Lusher, Daniel Shields, Jacob Swits, 
David Van Der Hyden, Robert Knowlton, 
Francis Vedder, John B. Qute, Cornelius A. 
Groot, Isaac De Graff, Maus Schemerhom, 
Rudolph Van Housen, Peter McDougall. Ger- 
sham Van Vorst, Stephen Cogswell, Isaac Ledyard, 
Gabriel H. Bowne, William Strong, Robert Gan- 
ley, John Van De Bogart, Henry Mercelus. 

Charge given to the Grand Jury ; adjoumd till 
aflemoon at 2 o'clock. 

Court met at appointed hour ; there being no 
business, Court adjourned till next morning at 9 

Wednesday morning, May 1 1 ; Court opened 
according to adjournment ; present, same judges 
as yesterday. 

The Grand Jury, being called by their names, 
reported that they had nothing to offer to the Court; 
and, there being no business before the Court, the 
Grand Jury was discharged and the Court ad- 

The first Circuit Court and Court of Oyer and 
Terminer held in the county afler its organization, 
began its session the 23d of October, 18 10. The 
following is a copy of the minutes of the proceed- 
ings of this term : 

At a Circuit Court held in and for the County 
of Schenectady, in the City Hall of the City of 
Schenectady, on Tuesday, the 23d day of October, 

Present— His Honor, Mr. Justice Spencer. 

Lyman M. Stanford 


Robert, Alexander and David Winne. 

On the motion of Mr. Henry Yates, ordered 
that the Sheriff return a venire and that this cause be 
brought to trial 



The Sheriff returned the venire with the panel 
annexed, and the following jurors were drawn and 
sworn : Jesse Coon, Job Leonard, Henry Swits, 
James V. S. Ryley, Charles Kane, William North, 
Araham A. Groote, Jesse Dowse, Henry Vandaman, 
Lewis Burhydt, John J. Van Vorst, Cornelius 

Witness on the part of plaintiff — Gibbons Went- 

The Jury, without leaving the bar, by Charles 
Keene, their foreman, say that they find their ver- 
dict in favor of the plaintiff : six cents damages and 
six cents costs. 

There were three other causes disposed of by the 
Jury at this term, as follows : 

Jeremiah Fuller 
Jeremiah Romeyn, Rebeckah, 
his wife, and six other de- 

The Jury rendered a verdict for the plaintiff of 
six cents damages and six cents costs. 

James C. Duane 


Peter Keehtr. 

On trial before a Jury, a verdict was rendered in 
favor of the plaintiff, $111 damages and six cents 
. James Jackson, Ex-dem., 

Jacob Dillamont, John Dill- 
amont and Alexander 

The defendants confess lease, entry and ouster. 

This was, as we see, an action of ejectment, with 
the celebrated James Jackson, Ex-dem. — ^according 
to the practice in those days in such cases — a 
fictitious party. These actions in the early history 
of the State, owing to the unsettled condition of 
land titles, were then and for fifty years following 
the most common actions tried in the courts. 
Looking at the reported causes for those days, the 
unprofessional reader naturally supposes that James 
Jackson, from the large number of cases in which he 
is plaintiff, was the most litigious being in the State, 
a troublesome fellow ; but, like John Doe and 
Richard Roe, he is never seen in court, and is only 
what can be called a legal myth. 

There were three witnesses sworn for the plain- 
tiff and three for the defendants. The Jur>', with- 
out leaving the bar, found their verdict for the 
plaintiff : one-third of the premises, six cents dam- 
ages, six cents costs. 

The next case was a case of ejectment ; one 
witness sworn for the plaintiff and one for the 
defendant The Jury without leaving the bar 
found verdict for plaintiff : six cents damages, six 
cents costs. 

This was the last cause tried at this term. 

Though it was called a Circuit Court and Court 
of Oyer and Terminer, it was merely a Circuit 
Court without the criminal side. No Court of 
Oyer and Terminer had yet been held in the 

. ft 



Mr. Justice Ambrose Spencer, who presided, was 
one of the most learned and distinguished judicial 
officers in the State or nation. He was appointed 
in 1804, serving till 18 19, when he was appointed 
Chief Justice of the State. He was the father of 
that great lawyer and statesman, John C. Spencer. 

From the first the Schenectady Bench and Bar 
took a highly distinguished position, which has 
been maintained down to the present time. Many 
of its members have occupied the highest rank in 
their profession; many have been elevated to the 
Bench and to other prominent civic positions in 
the State and nation. On its roll were such hon- 
ored names as Harmon, Van Ingen, Paige, the 
Yateses, Duane, Fonda and many others. The Bar 
never was large in numbers. As late as 1 830 it 
consisted of only twelve members, as follows: 
Christopher Fonda, admitted to the Bar in 1822; 
Joshua D. Harmon, admitted 1822; Samuel D. 
Jones, admitted 181 6; Archibald L. Linn, 1823; 
Alonzo C. Paige, 181 8; Abraham Van Ingen, 
1 81 8; Edward Yates, 18 18; Gilbert F. Yates, 
1822; Joseph C. Yates, 1792; Henry Yates, Jr., 
1799; John B. Duane, Trumansburg, 1825; and 
Jacob G. Fonda, at Glenville, 1826. This was the 
Bar in 1830. 

Ten years later, in 1840, the Schenectady Bar 
consisted of eighteen members, having increased 
but six in number during that time, as follows : 
Piatt Potter, James M. Bouck, John Brotherson, 
Stephen A. Daggett, Henry Fuller, James Fuller, 
Alexander Gibson, Joshua D. H^irmon, John 
Howes, S. H. Johnson, Samuel W. Jones, Alonzo 
C. Paige, John Sanders, D. C. Smith, Abraham 
Van Ingen, S. R. Van Ingen, James B. Van 
Voust, Giles F. Yates. 

Presiding Judges of the Court of Common 
Pleas of the County and of the County Court. 
— Gerrit S. Vedder, appointed March 11, 1809; 
Gardner Cleveland, appointed May 25, 181 2; Da- 
vid Boyd, appointed February 5, 1823; Samuel 
W. Jones, appointed January 31, 1835; Archibald 
L. Linn, appointed July 17, 1840; Samuel W. 
Jones, appointed February 10, 1845. 

The following Judges were elected under the 
provisions of the Constitution of 1846: Samuel W. 
Jones, elected June, 1847; Stephen H. Johnson, 
elected November, 1851; John Sanders, elected 
November, 1855; Stephen H. Johnson, elected 
November, 1859; Judson S. Landon, elected Febru- 
ary 1, 1 865 (Judge Johnson resigned and Judge lan- 
don, now one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, 
was appointed to fill his place; he served till the 
close of 1 869, when Walter T. L. Sanders, elected 
November, 1869, took his place); Austin A 
Yates, elected November, 1873; David C. Beattie, 
elected November, 1879. 

District Atiornkys.* — ^John K. Paige, ajn 
pointed June 11, 18 18; Alonzo C. Paige, 

* 'Ilie original appellation of this office was that of Assistant Attor- 
ney-General, created by the act of February la, 1796. It embraced 
several counties. The office of District Attorney was created by the 
act of April 4, 1801, and the State was divided into thirteen districts, 
several counties in each District. Albanv, Schenectady and Schoharie 
Counties fbrmed the Twelfth District. By the act of 1818 each county 
was appointed a separate district for the office of District Attorney. 
These officers were appointed till the Coosiitution ol 1846 went into 
effect, when they were elected. 

appointed September 3, 1823; Piatt Potter, ap- 
pointed January 15, 1839; Benjamin F. Potter, 
elected June, 1847; Samuel L. Baker, elected 
November, 1850 ; James Fuller, appomted in 
place of Baker, resigned, August 22, 1851 ; 
John Van Santvoort, elected November, 1851 ; 
Satnu.l 1\ Freeman, appointed in place of 
Van Santvoort, resigned; Simeon Caulkins, ap- 
pointed January 7, 1856, in place of Freeman, re- 
signed; Judson S. Landon, elected November, 
1856; John G. McChesney, elected November, 
1862; John L. Hill, elected November, 1865; 
Austin A. Yates, elected November, 1868; Alonzo 
P. Strong, appointed December 24, 1^73, in place 
of Yates, resigned: Daniel C. Beattie, elected No- 
vember, 1874; Charles E. Palmer, elected Novem- 
ber, 1877; J- Teller Schoolcraft, elected Novem- 
ber, 1880. 

Surrogates. — William J. Teller, appointed 
May 30, 1 809 ; Robert Hudson, appointed April 
6, 1813 ; William J. Teller, appointed March 3, 
1 81 5; John Yates, appointed Februar}' 12, 1816; 
Giles F. Yates, appointed February 21, 1821 ; 
John Sanders, appointed February 13, 1840; 
David Cady Smith, appointed February 13, 1844. 

The County Judges whom we have named, 
elected under, the provisions of 1846, have been 
Judges and Surrogates down to the present time. 

County Clerks.* — Peter F. Vedder, appointed 
March 1 1, 1809; Joseph Shurtleff, appointed 
February 26, 1810 ; Peter F. Vedder, appointed 
February 14, 181 1 ; Jellis A. Fonda, appointed 
May 25, 1812 ; Joseph Shurdeff, appointed March 

12, 18 13: Jellis A. Fonda, appointed February 

13, 181 5 ; Jellis A. Fonda, elected November, 
1822; John S.Vrooman, appointed by the Governor 
1834 ; Jonathan C. Bumham, elected November, 
1834 ; Archibald Campbell, elected November, 
1837; Silas H. Marsh, elected November, 1843 J 
David P. Forrest, elected November, 1849 ; Mar- 
vin Strong, elected November, 1852 ; John W. 
Vedder, elected November, 1858 ; John M. 
Banker, appointed May i , 1 86 1 , in place of Ved- 
der, resigned ; John McShea, Jr. , appointed 
January 6, 1864, in place of Banker, resigned ; 
James G. Caw, elected November, 1864 ; J. 
Fonda Veile, elected November, 1876; Mr. Veile 
served by re-election till December 31, 1882 ; 
Thomas Yelverton, elected November, 1882. 

Sheriffs. — James V. S. Riley, appointed March 
II, 1809; John V. Van Ingen, James V. S. Rilej, 
Jolin Brown, Gideon Holliday, Isaac Riggs, Lewis 
Eaton, A. Van Slyck, elected under provision of 
Constitution of 1821, November, 1822; John F. 
D. Vedder, elected November, 1825; GershomVan 
Voast, elected November, 1828; Isaac I. Yates, 
elected November, 1831; Matthew Putnam, elected 
November, 1834; Myndert M. R. Wemple, elected 
November, 1837; David F. Reese, elected Novem- 
ber, 1840; Anthony H. Van Slyck, elected Novem- 
ber, 1843; John G. Van Voast, elected November, 
1847; John F. Clute, elected November, 1849; 
Nicholas Brooks, elected November, 1852; Philip 

^lliese officers were appointed by the Governor and Council of 
Appointment do*n to i8ai, when, by the provisioos of the 
adf^ptcd that year, they were dected by &e people. 



Dedepck, appointed vice Brooks, resigned, January 
1 6, 1855; Obadiah L. De Forest, elected Novem- 
ber, 1855; Norman M. F. Clute, elected Novem- 
ber, 1858; Abraham Gillispie, elected Novem- 
ber, 1 861; Samuel Wingate, elected November, 
1864; Peter Miller, elected November, 1867; 
Clark V. Worden, appointed by the Governor, 
1868; Jacob Vedder, elected November, 1869; 
James McMillen, Jr., elected November, 1872; 
Hiram J. Ingersoll, elected November, 1875; 
Charles H. Van Vranken, elected November, 1878; 
Jacob De Forest, elected November, 1881; S. L. 
Clute, elected November, 1885. 

The legal history of Schenectady is best illus- 
trated bv the lives and careers of men who have 
made its history by participating as leaders in the 
various matters of public and historic interest in the 
county. We shall, therefore, introduce biograph- 
ical sketches of those distinguished lawyers and 
judges of the county, without which, it may with 
truth be said, its history could not be written. 
~ We shall begin with the biography of Joseph C. 
Yates, a name not only interwoven in the history 
of Schenectady, but in that of the State, and in a 
large degree with that of the nation. 

** Among the early settlers of Schenectady, or 
' Corlear ' as it was styled in the olden time, was 
Joseph Yates, an honest, industrious, intelligent 
and enterprising English yeoman. He was a native 
of Leeds, in Yorkshire, and emigrated to the Colony 
of New York at that fearful period in English his- 
tory when Charles the First was beheaded to ap- 
pease the fury of the men who established, under 
Cromwell, the Commonwealth of England. 

' * The descendants of Joseph Yates were numerous. 
Although they preserved the patronymic of their 
ancestors, they soon lost their nationality in a de- 
gree, by their frequent intermarriages with their 
Dutch and German neighbors. " 

No family was more conspicuous in the early annals 
of New York and the Revolution than the Yates fam- 
ily. They were strong and influential Whigs, entering 
ardendy into the struggle of the Colonists for freedom, 
notwithstanding a large number (perhaps a majority) 
of the people by whom they were surrounded were 
Tories, and they were connected with some of the 
prominent loyalists by marriage. Nearly all the in- 
habitants of the valley of Mohawk and the intersecting 
valley of Schoharie were Tories. But the Germans 
and Dutch, with the exception of those families 
allied to the Johnsons or under their influence, 
were patriots, ready and willing to shed their blood 
for the freedom of their country. 

The connection of the Yates family with the 
Bench and Bar is singularly instructive and inter- 

Robert Yates was one of the first Judges of the Su- 
preme Court of the State of New York, and subse- 
quently Chief Justice; Abraham Yates, Jr., an influ- 
ential citizen of Albany and afterward its Mayor; and 
Christopher Yates, father of Joseph C. Yates, whose 
life we are tracing, were cousins, and at an early 
day identified themselves with the great movement 
which terminated in the independence of the 
American Colonies. 

Chief Justice Abraham Yates was a member of 
the Committee of Public Safety and of the Con- 
vention which adopted the Constitution of 1777. 
When his judicial appointment was tendered to 
him, his practice as a lawyer was extensive and 
lucrative. At the Albany bar, of which he was a 
member, and even at the bar of the city of New 
York, he was an acknowledged leader; learned, sa- 
gacious, eloquent and adroit. Such was his posi- 
tion long before the days of 1776, and when in 
1777 he accepted the office of Chief Justice, he did 
so largely to the injury of his private interests. His 
judicial duties were peculiarly delicate and dan- 
gerous. He sat upon the bench, as a writer has 
expressed it, * * with a halter about his neck, exposed 
to punishment as a rebel, had our efforts for liberty 
proved abortive. But no dangers could appall, no 
fears deter him from an honest performance of the 
functions of his office." 

He represented New York in the Philadelphia 
Convention in 1787, and was a member of the 
State Convention called to ratify the Federal Con- 

Christopher Yates was one of the leading men of 
Schenectady for many years prior to the Revolu- 
tion. During the French and Indian War he held 
a captain's commission in the provincial troops. 
He took part in the unsuccessful attempt made in 
1758 to dislodge Montcalm from his position at Ti- 
conderoga; while bravely leading his men to the as- 
sault he was desperately wounded. In the following 
year he accompanied the army under Gen. Prideaux 
and Sir William Johnson in the expedition against 
Fort Niagara, and was present at the capture of 
that important work. The war over, he returned 
to his duties and occupation as a citizen. He was 
immediately elected to the Colonial legislature, 
and for many years was a prominent member of 
that body. When the stirring questions began to 
be agitated that terminated in the Revolution, he 
espoused the cause of freedom. When the first 
alarm of war was raised he gave his services to his 
country. He accepted a commission in the New 
York troops, and was very soon promoted to the 
rank of colonel, in which capacity he served 
through the war, participating in many of its bat- 

He married Jane Bradt, a lady whose many ex- 
cellent qualities caused her memory to be affec- 
tionately cherished by her posterity. She was de- 
scended from an old and respectable Dutch family 
who emigrated to the colony of New York and 
settled in the lower valley of the Mohawk at a 
very early period. She was the mother of several 
children, sons and daughters. Of the former was 
Joseph C. , whose name stands at the head of this 

Henry Yates, a brother, represented the Eastern 
Senatorial District in 181 1 to 1814, 18 18 to 1821. 
He was also a delegate from the county of Sche- 
nectady to the Constitutional Convention of 182 1. 
John B. Yates was for a long time an honored and 
respected citizen of Madison County, and Andrew, 
''the conscientious, punctual and kind-hearted" 
— ^to use the language of Dr. Potter — was an emi- 



nent clergyman, a Professor in Union College, a 
Trustee of Hamilton College, and Principal of the 
Polytechny of Chittenango. It will thus be seen 
how intimately connected with every part of Sche- 
nectady County — legal, judicial, civil and military 
— has been the name of Yates. 

But to proceed with the life of the distinguished 
subject of this sketch, Joseph C. Yates. 

He was born at Schenectady on November 9, 
1768. Robubt and energetic, physically and 
mentally, exhibiting an unusual fondness for study 
and a persevering love of knowledge, he early indi- 
cated that he was destined to enter that career of 
life demanding intellectual endowments, strong 
executive powers, strengthened and sustained by 
those moral and religious sentiments which gave 
strength and digpiity^to his character. Manv of 
these high qualities of the future Judge and Chief 
Magistrate of the State were exhibited in his early 
years. Inheriting many of the traits of his mater- 
nal ancestors, he early adopted the favorite maxim 
of their nation, '' Een-dracht maakl macht,' As 
has well been said, this motto, like the magic 
word in the Arabian tale, removed many an ob- 
stacle which obstructed his path, and served oft- 
times to serve and encourage him. 

As the means of his father were ample, he 
enjoyed every advantage for obtaining a finished 
education, and he zealously availed himself of 

His education was begun under the tuition of 
Jacob Wilkie, an accomplished scholar, a tutor in 
his family. After receiving the instruction of this 
gentleman for several years he was sent to Caugh- 
nawaja, where he continued his studies under the 
instruction of Rev. Dr. Romain and his scholarly 
son, Theodoric Frelinghuysen Romain. He re- 
mained here until the incursions of Brandt, Sir 
Guy and Sir John Johnson rendered his residence 
at Caughnawaja unsafe, and he returned to Sche- 
nectady, where he completed his education under 
the instruction of Rev. Alexander Miller and that 
distinguished scholar, John Honeywood. 

Early in life he decided to enter the legal pro- 
fession. In conformity with this resolution, he 
entered the office of Peter W. Yates, a cousin of 
his father, a lawyer of distinction, and a leading 
Anti-Federalist, in the city of Albany. Young 
Yates pursued his legal studies, as he did his classi- 
cal, with a determination to master it as one of the 
greatest of sciences, which embodies in it, as has 
well been said, the perfection of all human reason- 
ing. At that day digests, compends and elemen- 
tar}' treatises on law were not as abundant as at the 
present time, and the legal student was compelled 
to work out his education in the exercise of unre- 
mitting diligence in tracing the intellectual sub- 
tlety of the legal writers of that period. But this 
labor and research tended to strengthen and enlarge 
the mind, give it profundity and flexibility. 

In 1792 Yates was called to the Bar. Robert 
Yates was then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
of the State of New York. He, loo, as we have 
seen, was a native of Schenectady, a man fitted by 
education, by high mental qualities, thorough and 

exhaustive legal training, for the elevated positions 
in life which he was called upon to occupy. 

After his call to the bar, young Yates opened an 
office in Schenectady and began the practice of his 
profession under the most advantageous circum- 
stances. As was said by one of the distinguished 
citizens of the city at the time, ** Schenectady need- 
ed a lawyer with the useful qualities which Mr. 
Yates possessed." He was prudent and sagacious 
as a counselor, able and skillful as an advocate, 
familiar with the rules which control real property 
and with the doctrines which govern the creation 
and devolution of estates. In the interpretation of 
devises and the construction of the settlement of 
deeds, grants, and the operation of trusts and 
powers, he was peculiarly qualified for the practice 
which, at that time, largely occupied the attention 
of lawyers. 

Mr. Yates was not only active and useful in his 
profession, but he identified himself with everj' 
public improvement which tended to the advance- 
ment of Schenectady. 

He was particularly active and useful in pro- 
moting the educational interests of the country. 
With other members of his family — with the Glens, 
the Fondas, the Van Ingens, the Oothouts, the 
Veeders and the Duanes — he was very influential 
in founding Union College. He was one of 
those to whom the funds raised by subscription 
were required to be paid, and one of the trustees 
named in the charter granted by the Regents of 
the University in 1 790. The prosperity of Union 
College was to him a matter of deep interest. He 
remained a member of the Board of Trustees until 
the day of his death, and it may well be said that 
the history of Union College is largely blended 
with that of Joseph C. Yates. 

In March, 1798, Schenectady was incorporated 
as a city. Previous to this the corporate property 
was held under letters patent granted in 1684 by 
Sir Edmund Andross, then Governor-General of 
the province of New York. We have said that 
Mr. Yates was particularly interested in the pro- 
motion and prosperity of Schenectady. His efforts 
and abilities were warmly appreciated by his fellow 
citizens, who, in return, bestowed upon him the 
most flattering proofs of their confidence and re- 

For over fifteen vears he devoted himself with 
untiring assiduity to his constantly increasing and 
highly remunerative legal business, which brought 
him to the front rank of his profession. 

The political arena had the same attractions for 
him that it has for most lawyers, and he entered it 
to reap the highest honors in the gift of the people 
of the State of New York. From this position he 
rose rapidly from one office of honor and trust 
to another. 

In 1806-7 he was a member of the State Senate 
from the Eastern District On the 3d of April, 
1807, he was appointed by the Legislature of the 
State on a commission, consisting of Ezra L'Hom- 
medieu, Samuel Jones, Egbert Benson and Simeon 
De Witt, to meet and confer in behalf of the State 
; with commissioners appointed by New Jersey, rel- 



alive to certain claims of jurisdiction and territory 
made by the latter as to the extension of its 
eastern boundary. The able manner in which 
this commission performed its duty has passed 
into history. In 1808, Mr. Yates was again 
elected from the Eastern District to the State 
Senate. Soon after his election, that illustrious 
jurist, Brockholst Livingston, then a Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the State, was promoted to 
the Bench of the United States Supreme Court, 
and Joseph C. Yates, to the great gratification of 
the Bench, the Bar and the public, was appointed 
to occupy the place on the State bench made 
vacant by Judge Livingston's promotion. He 
occupied this position with great ability until 
January 20, 1823, a period of fifteen years, when 
he was, as we shall more fully see hereafter, elevated 
to the chief magistracy of the State. 

On the 28th of February, 181 2, he was chosen 
a Regent of the University. We should have said 
that Mr. Yates very early allied himself to the 
Democratic-Republican party, afterward known 
as the Democratic party. 

In November, 1822, he was elected Governor of 
the State over Solomon Southwick, his opponent 
He resigned his office as Justice of the Supreme 
Court, and, on the first of January, 1823, was in- 
augurated Governor of the Stale. Until Governor 
Yates assumed the Executive chair, the State Gov- 
ernors, at the opening of each annual legislative 
session, appeared before the Senate and the Assem- 
bly, and delivered the Annual Message orally. He 
changed this custom by sending a written message 
to the Legislature, and the precedent he established 
has been adopted by all his successors. 

In his first message he recommended laws for 
carrying the new Constitution — the Constitution of 
1 82 1 — ^into effect; for the encouragement of domes- 
tic manufactories and economy in the public ex- 
penditures; and a liberal prosecution of the works 
of internal improvements then in progress. His 
message was a plain, unassuming, but very prac- 
tical document 

One of the questions that largely occupied the 
public mind in the State of New York, pending the 
canvass for President in 1820, which resulted in 
the re-election of James Monroe, was that of allow- 
ing the people the choice of Presidential Electors, 
instead of the Legislature. This question entered 
largely into the gubernatorial canvass of 1823, but 
was left undecided. 

In his message to the Legislature, January 6, 
1824, he called its attention to the fact that he de- 
sired a change in the mode of choosing Presidential 
Electors, expressing an opinion that it should be 
general throughout the country, looking to Con- 
gress for the remedy, and that in the meantime the 
interference of the Legislature, or the surrender of 
their right to choose the Electors, was not advisa- 
ble. He again recommended encouragement of 
domestic manufactures by duties on foreign im- 
ported goods. One of the most significant and 
important measures recommended by Gov. Yates 
in this message was the revision of the Statutes of 
the State. 

Early in the legislative session of 1824, a heated 
and angry discussion took place in both branches 
of the Legislature on the introduction of bills au- 
thorizing the i>eople to choose the Electors by gen- 
eral ticket Previous to this, as we have seen, they 
were chosen by the Legislature. 

A bill favorable to the change in the electoral 
laws passed the Assembly, but by a majority, in- 
stead of a plurality. The object of this bill was 
intended to effect the vote of New York in the 
Presidential election, which was to take place that 
year. In this election Henry Clay, John Quincy 
Adams, Andrew Jackson and William H. Crawford 
were candidates for President 

The change was insisted upon by the friends of 
Mr. Crawford, by which means they believed it 
would give him the State. His opponents, how- 
ever, in the Senate defeated the measure by post- 
poning a further consideration of it until the first 
Monday in the following November, which, in 
effect, defeated the bill. 

Such was the excitement on the question, that 
Gov. Yates called an extra session of the Legisla- 
ture for August 2, 1824. A bill providing for the 
choice of electors by the i>eople, under the present 
form, passed the Legislature in 1826. 

Gov. Yates' term of office expired January i, 
1825, and he was succeeded by De Witt Clinton. 
In 1828 he was elected President of the Electoral 
College, the State giving its vote for Andrew Jack- 
son for President. 

At the expiration of his term of office he re- 
sumed his residence at Schenectady, where he was 
greatly beloved and honored by its citizens. He 
remained attached to the Democratic party. He 
supported the administration of President Jackson 
and of Mr. Van Buren, though he did so with 
moderation and courteous deference to the opinion 
of others. 

Gov. Yates was married three different times. 
His first wife was Mrs. Ann Ellice, of Schenectady, 
by whom he had no issue. For his second wife he 
married Miss Maria Kane, of Albany; she bore 
him one daughter, who became the wife of John 
Keyes Paige, for many years a clerk of the Supreme 
Court, and afterward Mayor of Albany. His 
third wife was Ann Elizabeth De Lancy, by whom 
he had two daughters; one of them married Mr. 
J. D. Watkins, of Georgia; the other, Mr. Samuel 
Neal, of New York City. 

In person Gov. Yates was rather above the me- 
dium size and height His appearance was digni- 
fied and his manner was easy, courteous and un- 
assuming. If he did not possess a brilliant mind, 
it was vigorous, well balanced and well disciplined 
by education and by his relations with the world. 
In all his private relations he was in every way es- 
timable. He died at Schenectady, on March 19, 
1837, having attained the age of sixty-nine years. 

Hon. Alonzo C. Paige, LL.D. — Few names 
are more distinguished in the legal history of the 
State of New York than that of Alonzo C. Paige. 
It is an ornament to the bar, where he was dis- 
tinguished as a wise, eloquent and faithful counsel- 
or. While at the bar, he devoted himself with 




untiring industry to his profession. To him, ju- 
risprudence was a science which delighted his pol- 
emical mind, and he studied it with avidity and 
pleasure; but the student was never lost in the 
practicing lawyer. His deep reading was exhibited 
in his legal arguments, 'in his written opinions, 
and they rendered his briefs and all his legal pro- 
ductions beautiful specimens of legal logic and 
learning. Like most lawyers, Mr. Paige, in his 
earlier life, entered somewhat largely into politics, 
but never to the neglect of his professional duties. 
He was never what may be called a practiced pol- 
itician, and, when placed in comparison with those 
simulars of patriotism — politicians of policy and 
intrigue — approaching the people with artifice, and 
addressing them in the ambiguous language of a 
trimmer, his character shone with peculiar lustre, 
and it is no exaggeration to say that it did so in 
all the varied duties of his life. 

We cannot better place the character and career 
of Judge Paige before our readers than in adopting 
the beautiful memorial of him found in 52 Barbor's 
N. Y. Supreme Court Reports. 

Judge Paige was the son of the Rev. Dr. 
Winslow Paige, a Presbyterian clergyman, who was 
afterward called to the then Reformed Protestant 
Dutch Church. Judge Paige was bom in Schagh- 
licoke, Rensselaer County, in 1797. Blessed with 
a pious parentage and with the advantage of every 
possible care bestowed in the cultivation of his 
mind and advancement in education, he entered 
Williams College at an unusually early age, and 
graduated from that institution before he had arrived 
at the age of sixteen. In 1857 he received from 
his Alma Mater the degree of LL.D. After 
leaving Williams College, his father, designing to 
educate him for the ministry, sent him to be in- 
structed under the care of the Rev. Dr. Banks, a 
learned Scotch clergyman, then living in a neighbor- 
ing parish. After a year or more thus spent, his father, 
learning of his absence, upon inquiry, found him in 
a law office, in the city of Schenectady, laboriously 
studying a profession then most agreeable to his 
own wishes. He completed his legal term of study 
with the approbation of his parent, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 18 18, and opened an office in 
the city of Schenectady in 1 8 1 9. He then adopted 
that city as his residence, where he lived to the time 
of his death. 

Judge Paige was a student in every sense of the 
word. When he first assumed the practice of his 
profession, his mind was so thoroughly imbued 
with accurate knowledge of elementary law, and 
his habit of study and investigation so diligent and 
unremitting, that he arose at once to the first 
rank in his profession. Though genial in his na- 
ture, and enjoying with the highest relish, in his 
hours of relaxation, the pleasures of refined social 
associations, his constant midnight lamp was the 
evidence to all of his love of study. 

In 1824 he was appointed District Attorney, 
which office he held for fifteen years, performing its 
duties with distinguished credit. In 1826 he was 
elected a Member of Assembly, and in the three suc- 
cessive years of 1 827-8-9 he was returned as the pop- 

ular representative of this county in the Assembly. 
These political duties, though onerous, were never 
permitted to interrupt those of his profession, in 
which it seemed to be the great object of his ambi- 
tion to excel. So rapidly did he rise in his pro- 
fessional distinction that the acute mind of 
Chancellor Walworth was attracted to him. and 
in 1830 he selected him as the reporter of his 
court, to which office he was appointed, and 
which he held until 1846. The highest encomium 
j that could be paid to his qualifications for that po- 
sition is the appreciation of the Bar of the State of 
New York of the skill, ability, and success with 
which he executed its duties, as manifested in their 
appreciation of the eleven volumes of the reports 
which will bear his name to all the future in our 
judicial history. In 1838 Judge Paige was elected 
a trustee of Union College, which place he held for 
thirty years, until his death. He was placed in 
the principal charge of the finances of that institu- 
tion, and gave to that duty a constant and most 
laborious attention. To no one individual during 
that period is more credit due than to him for the 
care, security, prosperity and increase of the now 
exceedingly large and productive property of that 
institution. Before the adoption of the Constitution 
of 1846, Judge Paige was twice elected to the Sen- 
ate of this State, and was thus made a member of 
the Court for the Correction of Errors. His opin- 
ions as a member of that court are distinguished 
for great clearness, learning and power. Upon 
the adoption of the Constitution of 1846, and at 
the first election under it, he was elected a Justice 
of the Supreme Court, and once after elected to 
supply a vacancy. He was for two years a mem- 
ber of the Court of Appeals. It would be useless 
to the judiciary, to his associates or to the bar to 
speak of the character of the many contributions 
in our books of reports which bear the impress of 
his profound legal mind. Suffice it to say, he 
spent his life in the service of the State, and the 
ability and soundness of his judicial decisions are a 
part of its history and have greatly contributed to 
its honor and fame. 

The last public position occupied by Judge 
Paige was that of a member of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1867-8. Though then somewhat 
enfeebled by the disease which terminated his life, 
his noble and efficient efforts to provide in the 
Constitution of the State a security against the cor- 
ruptions of the elective franchise were in harmony 
with the integrity of his whole life. 

He was a gentleman of imposing presence, 
adopting the old school of dignified and gentle- 
manly manners, still possessing great urbanity, 
amenity and kindness. His leading characteris- 
tics were open, sincere honesty, undoubted, un- 
qualified integrity, frank sincerity, « uniform cour- 
tesy, and he was generous and liberal in charities 
to the destitute. His early religious training im- 
pressed upon his mind great gravity of demeanor, 
and many years before his death he made a public 
profession of religion and united with the Presby- 
terian church ; at the time of his death he was one 
of the ruling elders of that church. 



Upon the announcement of his death, in March, 
1868, the Bar of Schenectady County called a 
meeting to express their profound sorrow for his 
loss. This meeting was largely attended. Hon. 
John Sanders was called to the chair, who, on 
taking it, addressed his brethren in a speech of 
deep feeling and eloquence. A committee on 
resolutions was appointed, consisting of Hon. J. 
S. Landon, Hon. Thomas B. Mitchell, S. A. 
Daggett, J. Fuller and A. P. Strong, Esqrs., who 
presented by their chairman brief, touching res- 
olutions, eloquent and heartfelt expressions of 
sorrow for the death of the distinguished jurist 
they memorialized. 

In presenting the resolutions Judge Landon 
said : '* We honor our deceased brother, not so 
much on account of the high places of trust and 
of honor to which he was called and worthily 
filled, for none know better than our profession 
that in our age and time high official place is not 
the truest evidence of high merit The bat can 
reach that eminence as well as the eagle. But we 
honor him because through all the years of his 
early and later manhood he dignified, adorned and 
elevated the profession of the law, even in the esti- 
mation of lawyers themselves. No pretense, no art 
of a demagogue, no superficial acquirements, can 
give the lawyer high rank among lawyers ; only 
merit, and real merit, can win that. Judge Paige, 
by the cheerful assent of his associates, long had 
place among the few who stand at the front rank 
of the Bar of our State. Others, doubtless, sur- 
passed him in the gift of eloquence which charms 
while it instructs, but none in that tireless industry, 
that exhaustive learning, which, guided by the en- 
lightened conscience and disciplined brain, com- 
pels, alike from principle and authority, the law to 
stand, as Bacon called it, ' the perfection of 
human reason.' Throughout the State Judge 
Paige commanded the respect and honor of the 
learned and the good." 

We only give a portion of Judge Landon s 
eloquent and appropriate eulogy. When he said 
that '* throughout the State the departed jurist com- 
manded respect and honor," he uttered the senti- 
ment of the Bench and the Bar in all the State, 
as was exhibited by many public demonstrations. 

The Schenectady Bar has furnished four Justices 
of the Supreme Court, viz. : Joseph C. Yates, ap- 
pointed February 8, 1808; AlonzoC. Paige, elected 
June 7, 1847; Piatt Potter, elected November 3, 1 857. 


In writing the biography of the eminent jurist 
whose name appears at the head of this sketch, we 
speak of one long accustomed to the struggles of 
the Bar, one who has for many years pronounced 
the law from the Bench. He is one who, in his 
sphere, has discharged his duties with such probity 
and honor, such learning and ability, as entitles 
him to the highest esteem of the Bench, the Bar, 
and the public. 

Hon. Piatt Potter was born at Gal way, Saratoga 
County, N. Y., April 6, 1800. He is perhaps one 

of the oldest judges and lawyers in the State ; one 
of those through whom one generation speaks its 
thoughts, appeals and sympathies to another. 
His father, Restcome Potter, was a native of Mass- 
achusetts, but removed to New York early in life. 
Notwithstanding the non-combatant principles of 
himself and his ancestors, who were members of 
the Society of Friends, he engaged in military ser- 
vice during the war with the mother country, un- 
der Ethan Allen (the noted hero of Ticonderoga) 
when demanding the surrender of the fort in the 
name of the * * Great Jehovah and the Continental 
Congress. '* 

Later in life he received a colonel's commission 
in the militia from Governor George Clinton, for 
whom he named one of his sons. He removed to 
Saratoga County about 1794, and from thereto 
Schenectady in about 1 806, and followed the oc- 
cupation of farming. A man of energy and public 
spirit, he was chosen to fill various official posi- 
tions, being in turn Alderman of the City, Justice 
of the Peace, and for sixteen years a Judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas. He was possessed of 
commanding influence in his day, and died, greatly 
regretted, in 1853. The mother of Judge Piatt 
Potter was Lucinda (Strong) Potter, of Litchfield, 
Conn., who was also descended from patriotic an- 
cestry. During his boyhood. Judge Potter at- 
tended the common schools and the academy at 
Schenectady, from which he graduated in 1824. 
He immediately began the study of law under the 
direction of Hon. Alonzo C. Paige, afterward a 
Judge of the Supreme Court He was admitted to 
the Bar of the Supreme Court in 1828. He entered 
upon the practice of his profession at Minaville, 
Montgomery County, and continued thus occupied 
till 1833, when, removing to Schenectady, he en- 
tered into partnership with Mr. Paige, his former 
preceptor.* This connection continued for a period 
of thirteen years. Upon its dissolution. Judge 
Potter practiced alone for a time, but was subse- 
quently associated in practice with distinguished 
legal men who have occupied high positions of 
official honor both in the State and National Gov- 
ernment. In the autumn of 1830, Mr. Potter was 
elected Member of Assembly from Montgomery 
County. During this session of the Legislature, a 
committee, of which Judge Potter was chairman, 
was appointed to consider the matter of providing 
improved accommodations for the iusane. He 
made the report, and introduced the first bill to 
erect an asylum at Utica for lunatics. He served 
also during the same period of legislative labor on 
the Judiciary Committee. In 1836 he was married 
to Antoinette, daughter of the Rev. Winslow Paige, 
D.D. From 1839 to 1847 ^^ held the office of 
District Attorney for Schenectady County, and was 
at the same time Master and Examiner in Chan- 
cery, having been appointed to that position in 
1828, and continuing to exercise its functions till 
the abolishment of the Court in Chancery about 
1847. Ij^ 1857 he was elected Justice of the Su- 
preme Court of New York, running as candidate 
against his former partner. Judge A. C. Paige. 
He was returned by a small majority, serving dur- 




ing one of the most critical periods of our political 
history. During this term he also served as a 
Judge of the Court of Appeals. He was re-elected 
in 1865 to the Supreme Bench of the State without 
opposition. In the same year he was elected 
trustee of Union College, which office he continues 
to hold, and which institution conferred on him in 
1867 the degree of LLD. 

He was always a staunch Republican in political 
sentiments. His judicial ser\ices during the rebel- 
lion, and the four years of trying national experience 
which immediately preceded it, were of the utmost 
value to the Government. ^"^ 

Noted for more than usual mental readiness and 
penetration, and great activity in the performance 
of every duty. Judge Potter has filled with honor 
many high official positions in the State. His 
election to the Supreme Bench of the Common- 
wealth, and his long continuance as a member of 
that distinguished body, e\ince the appreciation in 
which not only his talents but his worth are held 
by those whose interest have been the object of his 
judicial care. His labors as a legislator showed 
his large philantrophy and his wise statesmanship. 
As a jurist, he stands high in the State. His argu- 
ment before the Assembly upon the case of 
the supposed **High Breach of Privilege of 
the Honorable the Assembly of the State . of New 
York, in the matter of the Hon. Henry Ray, Mem- 
ber of Assembly from Ontario, '' exhibits his pro- 
found knowledge of the constitutional rights and 
powers of the judiciary as a co-ordinate branch of 
the Government, the extent of the law of legislative 
privilege, and those sound principles of law and 
equity underlying just legislative and judicial 

This case was novel and unprecedented; neither 
in the legislative nor judicial history of this State 
had any case similar to it been known. 

The facts in the case, briefly stated, are as fol- 
lows: On the 20th of January, 1870, a subpoena, 
requiring one Henry Ray to appear and testify as a 
witness in a criminal proceeding then pending be- 
fore the Grand Jur>' of Saratoga, Oyer and Ter- 
miner, was issued under the authority of that Court, 
Hon. Piatt Potter, one of the Justices of the Su- 
preme Court, presiding. The subpoena was duly 
served on Ray at the City of Albany. He refused 
to obey its mandates on the grounds of his privi- 
lege as Member of Assembly of the State of New 
York, then in session. The District Attorney of 
Saratoga County then applied to the Court for an 
attachment against Ray for such disobedience. It 
was granted by the Court, and the officer was di- 
rected to ser\'e the same by producing the body of 
Ray before the CourL He went to Albany on the 
morning of the 21st and arrested Ray at his lodg- 
ings. Ray insisted on his privilege, and refused to 
accompany the officer, who then informed him 
that he should take him by force. Under pro- 
test, the gentleman submitted himself to the cus- 
tody of the officer. 

When the arrest of Ray was communicated to 
the House of Assembly, it created great excite- 
ment in that body, and elicited an exciting debate. 

It was regarded as a question involving a high 
breach of privilege of the House, and an insult to 
their dignity. It was finally referred to the Com- 
mittee on Grievances for grave consideration. 
This Committee was composed of seven of the 
then most experienced members of the House. 
The Hon. Thomas C. Field was Chairman. After 
thorough inquiry and a full investigation, the Com- 
mittee presented an elaborate report, stating the 
facts and circumstances of the case, the effect of 
the act upon the character and dignity of the 
H^use, the encroachments on legislative rights of 
the law of Parliamentarj' privileges, and of the 
danger of the public interests if the precedent com- 
ing from such a source should pass without public 
rebuke. The Committee came to the conclusion 
* * that the arrest of the Hon. Henry Ray, on Jan- 
uary 21, 1870 — a Member of Assembly from the 
First District of the County of Ontario— on an at- 
tachment issuing out of the Court of Oyer and 
Terminer then bein^ held in the County of Sara- 
toga, of which the Hon. Piatt Potter was Presid- 
ing Justice, was a high breach of the privileges of 
this House by the said Potter, and deserves the 
censure of this House. Your Committee, there- 
fore, respectfully submit the following resolution: 

'' Resohedy That the Hon. Piatt Potter, Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the Fourth Judicial District, 
be summoned and required to appear before the 
bar of this House for a high breach of its privi- 
lege in issuing an attachment for the arrest of the 
Hon. Henry Ray, a Member of Assembly of the 
State ot New York from the First District of the 
County of Ontario: and that the House will then 
and there take such action as the House in its 
judgment may see fit " 

A similar resolution was passed in relation to 
the District Attorney of Saratoga County, who ap- 
plied for the attachment against Ray. 

The notice to appear at the Bar of the House 
and answer was served on the Judge February 14, 
1870, only two days previous to that appointed for 
the hearing. 

At twelve o'clock noon on the i6th of February, 
Judge Potter appeared at the bar of the Assembly, 
when the Speaker of the House briefly stated to 
him the charges which he was required to answer, 
and called upon him to state any excuse for his 
conduct in issuing his attachment against Hon. 
Henry Ray, a member of the House. 

Judge Potter, who had appeared with Hon. Wm. 
A. Beach, as counsel, proposed that that gentle- 
man should answer for him. Mr. Fields stated 
that the presence of counsel in such cases was 
unusual, whereupon the Speaker declared the 
Judge could not be heard through his counsel. 

**Then," said Judge Potter, **Iwill speak for 
myself." He then entered on his remarks with 
the calm confidence of one who can rely upon 
himself in any emergency. His argument was 
able, profound and elaborate ; every authority 
bearing on the matter in any way — whether Eng- 
lish or American — was fully considered and 
digested. It did not touch upon anything which 



would excite the fancy, for it contained nothing but 
logic, learning and facts. The Assembly and 
many Senators who came to be present, and a vast 
throng of spectators, listened with deep and un- 
wearied attention. All who heard it were lost to 
everything except the words which fell from the 
lips of the speaker, standing under such peculiar 
circumstances. But he had the complete mastery 
of his subject, and his words flowed with intel- 
lectual energy. 

We regret that we have not space to give in 
detail bis remarkably able arguments — this great 
defense of an independent judiciary. It was 
rewarded by a great and signal triumph. 

"Although," said the Judge, in concluding his 
argument, ** I have appeared here and offered 
this defense, I do not say that I submit this case 
to you, though probably that will be the effect of 
your action ; but, sir, I stand here protesting, 
earnestly protesting, that I am not here in obedi- 
ence to your power, but here out of courtesy to 
an independent department of this Government " 

At the close of this argument, Thomas C. Fields, 
Member from the City of New York, rose and 
made a motion that Judge Potter withdraw from 
the House until his case could be disposed of. 

The Speaker then informed the Hon. gentle- 
man that he could withdraw to the library till his 
case was decided. 

Judge Potter. — **I prefer to stay, and unless 
driven from the House by its power shall remain. *' 

The Speaker. — '* The request of the Hon. Judge 
will be granted. " 

Judge Potter. — **I have made no request," 
taking his seat 

A long and exciting debate in the House fol- 
lowed. Mr. Fields offered a resolution that Hon. 
Piatt Potter, in issuing the attachment for the arrest 
of Hon. Henry Ray, Member of Assembly from 
Ontario, was guilty of a high breach of the 
privileges of this House, and that he be repri- 
manded by the Speaker in the presence of this 

This resolution received no support and was 
withdrawn, whereupon' Mr. Alvord, of Onondaga, 
offered the following amendment to Mr. Field's re- 

Resolved, **That the Hon. Piatt Potter was mis- 
taken as to the privileges of this House in the ac- 
tion, taken by him in the arrest of Hon. Henry 
Ray, but this House do not believe that intention 
or desire to interfere with the independence or 
dignity of th^ H^use actuated him in the perform- 
ance of that -which he deemed his official duty. " 

Mr. Wm. D. Murjjhy offered a substitute for 
that resolution, to the effect that Judge Potter be 
discharged from the custody of the House until 
the hour of twelve^ o'clock on the first day of 
March, and that in the meantime the opinion of 
the Attorhey-Genei^l be communicated as to the 
term ■'* Civil Process" in the statute exempting 
legislators from arrest This was lost 

The question was then taken upon the motion 
of Mr. Alvord, which was carried by a vote of 92 

to 15, and thus ended the case, a sketch of which 
only is contained in Barbor's Reports, Vol. 55, 
page 625. 

Very soon aftei; Judge Potters discharge, he re- 
ceived a large number of letters, **the volun- 
tary' congratulations of the jurists, statesmen and 
lawyers, names distinguished in the State and na- 
tion." They were written to the Judge as the in- 
dorsement of the soundness of his argument upon 
the question of the independence of the judiciary. 
These letters, though not written with the object of 
publication, have appeared in a pamphlet contain- 
ing the argument* of Judge Potter, published by 
and at the request of members of the Bar in the 
counties of Rensselaer, Saratoga, Montgomery and 
Schenectady, to which publication Judge Potter 
consented, inasmuch as numerous and material 
errors and omissions in the newspaper report of 
the argument demanded correction. 

Further evidence of the high esteem in which tlie 
judiciary and the bar held Judge Potter, and the grati- 
fication his legislative triumphs gave them, was ex- 
hibited in the September following that event. A 
State Judicial Convention was held at Rochester in 
September, 1870, for the purpose of nominating a 
candidate for Judge of the Court of Appeals. It 
was chiefly attended mostly by judges and ex- 
judges. Mr. Potter was unanimously chosen per- 
manent President of the Convention, upon the ex- 
press grounds of his triumphant victory over the 
Legislature on the question of the independence 
of the judiciar}'. 

iudge Potter's written opinions and judgments 
ibit the profound lawyer, the thoughtful, 
patient and investigating judge. 

He has attained distinction as a writer. Among 
his written productions we refer to the following: 

In 1870, while still on the bench serving as 
judge, he prepared a work upon the construction 
and interpretation of American Statutes and Con- 
stitutions. In it he also included, with approval, 
the law of England, as far as applicable, and as 
laid down by one Dwarris,a distinguished law writer 
of that country. The work prepared by Judge Potter 
is entitled **Potter's Dwarris. " It is a work univers- 
ally approved as authority in all the Stales of this 
country. In 1875 ^^ compiled and greatly en- 
larged, with the later authorities, a treatise on 
Equity Jurisprudence, originally prepared by John 
Willard. This is known as Potters edition of that 
work. In 1879 ^^^ prepared an original work on 
corporations, in two volumes, entitled *' Potter on 
Corporations. '' Each of these three works has been 
recognized in this country as standard authority, 
and they arc now used as books for study and in- 
struction in the Albany and other law schools. 

Judge Potter is distinguished for his domestic 
and social qualities. His own fireside is, to him, 
the dearest place on earth. His conversation is 
agreeable and instructive. His long and large ac- 
quaintance with distinguished men of the past and 
the present, and his reminiscences of their careers, 
give an historic interest to his conversation. He 
possesses the rare faculty of eliciting the strong points 
in the person's character with whom he converses. 






As years fall upon him, they bring no asperities 
to his disposition, no dimness to the light of his 
social and mental powers, nor do they detract 
aught from the suavity of his manners. He is in 
every sense of the word a Christian gentleman, 
and has for many years been an elder of the First 
Presbyterian Church in Schenectady. His piety is 
with him a deep sentiment — it is warm, but not 
heated; earnest, but tranquil; a principle, not an 

That a man like Judge Potter should be held in 
the highest esteem and affection by his friends and 
neighbors, is the natural reward of a well-spent life. 

JuDSON Stuart Landon was bom in Salis- 
bury, Litchfield County, Conn., December i6, 
1832. His great-grandfkther, James Landon, rep- 
resented that town in the Legislature of the 
Colony of Connecticut in 1759, and his uncle, 
also James Landon, represented the same town in 
the Legislature of the State just one hundred years 
later. His father, William Landon, who married 
Phebe, daughter of Dr. Cyrus Berry, a physician 
of Dutchess County, was bom in the same town, 
and died there in 1876 at the age of eighty-one. 
He was a merchant and farmer. 

Mr. Landon was educated in the common 
schools, and in the American and New York Con- 
ference seminaries. In 1853 he was a teacher of 
Latin, mathematics and natural sciences in the 
academy at Princetown, Schenectady County, 
N. Y, He at the same time pursued the study of 
law without an instructor. In 1854 he left the 
academy and studied law in Yale College for one 
year. In 1855 he returned to the academy as its 
principal. He received the degree of Master of 
Arts from Union College the same year. In 1856 
he was admitted to the Bar, and was elected Dis- 
trict Attorney of Schenectady County in the fall of 
that year. Since then he has resided in Schenec- 
tady. He was re-elected District Attorney in 
1859. In Febmary, 1865, he was appointed 
County Judge to fill a vacancy, and was elected 
for four years in the fall of that year. In 1 867 he 
sened as a member of the State Constitutional Con- 
vention. In 1873 ^^ was elected Justice of the 
Supreme Court in the Fourth Judicial District 
Jesse Gay, of Plattsburgh, was the candidate of 
the Democrats, but declined to run, and the elec- 
tion of Justice Landon was not opposed. 

He is one of the governors of Union University, 
a trustee of Union College and of the Albany Law 
School, and at present acting president of Union 
College. He received the degree of LL.D. 
from Rutgers College in 1885. 

His practice for several years was chiefly con- 
fined to litigated cases. In 1868 he was one of 
the counsel for Robert C. Dom, Canal Commis- 
missioner, who was tried before the Court of Ap- 
peals and the Senate upon articles of impeachment 
preferred against him by the Assembly. He opened 
the case before the Court and examined the wit- 
nesses on behalf of Mr. Dom, who was acquitted. 

Austin A. Yates was born in Schenectady, 
March 24, 1836; graduated from Union College 

in 1854 ; admitted to the Bar in 1857. He imme- 
diately began the practice of his profession, and at 
the same time became editor of the Schenectady 
Daily Times. During the civil war he raised a 
company, of which he became captain, and for 
meritorious service in putting down a rebellion of 
miners in Pennsylvania he secured from President 
Lincoln the honorary rank of Brevet-Major. In 
1864 he was elected District Attorney of Schenec- 
tady, but resigned the office in 1873, on his elec- 
tion as County Judge. In 1879 ^^ ^^ appointed 
Attorney to the Insurance Department by the State 
Superintendent of Insurance, which office he held 
during the Governorship of Alonzo B. Cornell. 

Hon. Samuel W. Jacksox was bom in the town 
of Palatine, Montgomer}- County, N. Y., June 28, 
1 82 1. His father, Allen H. Jackson, was a grad- 
uate of West Point, and was a civil engineer of dis- 
tinction. His mother was the sister of Judge Paige, 
of Schenectady. He graduated from Union Col- 
lege in 1842, receiving in diie time the degree of 
A. M. He completed his legal studies in the office 
of Paige & Potter, and was licensed as an attorney 
in 1843, and as counselor in 1846. He practiced 
law from 1843 to 1850 in Gilboa, Schoharie 
County, and for a time in New York, and came 
to Schenectady in 1858. He was appointed by 
Governor Hoffman, in 1867, to fill the unexpired 
term of Judge K H. Rosencrans. In 1872 he was 
elected a member of the Constitutional Commission, 
and is now attorney for the New York Central Rail- 
road for his locality. Judge Jackson is a man of 
excellent l^^l attainments and strict attention in 
the performance of his duties, and has established 
a flourishing practice, and is highly honored by 
the community. 


Hon. John Sant>ers was born in Glenville, N. 
Y., in 1802. His father was Presiding Judge of Al- 
bany County when Schenectady County was a part 
of it. He graduated from Union College in 1822, 
and completed his legal studies in 1825, and 
practiced for a year in Albany, and afterward in 
Northampton, Catskill and Clermont, N. Y. In 
1836 he settled in Schenectady, and in 1840 was 
appK)inted by Gov. Seward Surrogate, which office 
he held till 1844. He was County Judge from 
1855 till i860. He was identified with the interests 
of the Bar in various localities of the State, and is the 
author of a history of the County of Schenectady. 

Hon. Walter T. L. Sanders, son of the Hon. John 
Sanders, was bom in Catskill, N. Y., September 7, 
1 83 1 . He engaged in teaching and business for 
some years, and was admitted to the practice of law 
in Schenectady in 1858. Elected Clerk of the 
Board of Supervisors in i860, elevated to office of 
County Judge in 1870, and member of Assembly m 
1876. These various pubh'c positions he filled with 

Edward \\'. Paige was bom in Schenectady, 
July II, 1844, and graduated from Union College 
in 1864 : from Harvard Law School in June, 1866; 



and Albany Law School shortly afterward. He 
occupies a leading position in his profession, and 
has served as Assistant State Attorney-General. 

Hon. Edward D. Cutler was bom in Ballston,N. 
Y., December 1 8, 1 849; was educated in the common 
schools and at the Classical Institute^ Schenectady; 
was a clerk in the grocery store of Adam Dillen- 
beck nine years ; in 1877 entered the law office of 
Hon. A. A. Yates, and studied law two years, 
graduating from Albany Law School in 1880 ; be- 
came a law partner with Judge Yates ; in the fall 
of 1884 was nominated by acclamation by the 
Democratic party as Member of Assembly for Sche- 
nectady County, and gained the election, running 
625 ahead of the electoral ticket. 

Hon. D. C. Beattie was bom in Salem, N. Y., 
December 2, 1827, and graduated from Norwich 
University, Vt, in 1845. He practiced law in 
Chicago from June, 1850, to October, 1859, ^"^ 
at Albany, 1860-62, coming to Schenectady in 
February the latter year. He was District Attor- 
ney of Schenectady County from January i, 1875, 
to January i, 1878, and has been County Judge 
since January i , 1 880. 

Alonzo p. Strong, lawyer, whose office is in the 
Y. M. C. A. Building, is a prominent member of 
the city and county Bar. He has an extensive 
practice and stands among the leading members of 
the Schenectady Bar. 

Samuel T. Benedict, lawyer, was bom in Dan- 
bury, Conn., in 1837, and graduated from Union 
College in i860 and from Harvard Law School in 
1862. He practices his profession principally in 
New York, and has been a resident of Schenectady 
since 1865. 

John A. De Remer was for a short time tutor of 
mathematics in Union College. As a lawyer he com- 
mands a lucrative practice. He has taken an active 
interest in politics, affiliating with the Republican 
party, and has held several important offices, the 
last being postmaster of Schenectady. 

E. Nott Schermerhorn, a descendant of one of 
the oldest families, though a lawyer of ability, has 
been principally connected with other pursuits. 
He was Collector of Internal Revenue from 1 864 
to 1882, and was appointed receiver of the Jones 
Car Works, February 4, 1884. He also conducts 
an extensive real estate and insurance business. 

Horatio Gates Glenn, attorney, was bom in 
Schenectady, December 26, 1859, and graduated 
from Union College in 1881 and from the Albany 
Law School in 1883. Since then he has practiced 
in his native city. 

Charles Hastings began the practice of law in 
1872 in Schenectady, and has secured an extensive 

J. Teller Schoolcraft, attomey at law, began 
practice at Schenectady in 1876. He was elected 
District Attomey on the Democratic ticket in 1880 
and re-elected in 1883. 

Omie F. Veddkr, law student and Clerk of the 
Board of Supervisors, is a graduate of Union Classi- 
cal Institute; was a school teacher from 1878 to 

1882, and was managing editor of the Schenectady 
Daily Union from April, 1883, to October, 1884. 
He was Committee Clerk in the Assembly of 1884, 
and has also been Clerk of the Board of Super- 

Edward E. Kriegsmax was bom in Albany, N. 
Y., in 1852, and became a lawyer in 1878, and 
added the insurance business three years later. He 
was City Clerk from February, 1881, to May, 1883, 
and since June, 1882, has been Secretary of Board 
of Health and Registrar of Vital Statistics. 

Jacob W. Clute was born in Schenectady, Oc- 
tober 12, 1846, and was admitted to the bar of 
Schenectady County April 16, 1868, and has been 
located in the city since. He has represented the 
Second ward as Alderman two terms. He is also 
Secretary of the Schenectady County Bible Society. 

James A. Goodrich, attorney at law, was bom 
in Schenectady in 1856, and graduated from Union 
College in 1879, ^"^ iiora the Albany Law School 
in 1882. 

Schenectady County Bar. — Hon. Frothingham 
Fish, Justice; David C. Beatlie, Louis C. Beattie, 
Samuel T. Benedict, Walter Briggs, Demetrius M. 
Chadsey, Jacob W. Gute, John F. Clute, Edward 
D. Cutler, Simon Calkins, David Daggett, John A. 
De Remer, Robert Furman, James Fuller, Horatio 
G. Glen, James A. Goodrich, Charles Hastings, 
Samuel W. Jackson, Edward E. Kriegsman, Rob- 
ert J. Landon, R. T. Lomasney, John E. Myers, 
John McShea, Piatt Potter, Edward W. Paige, 
Charles E. Palmer, David Cady Smith, Everett 
Smith, Gerardus Smith, Walter T. K Sanders, 
Charles P. Sanders, Jr., Alonzo P. Strong, J. Teller 
Schoolcraft, E. Nott Schermerhorn, Alex. J. Thom- 
son, Wm. J. Van Epps, George O. Van De Bogert, 
Austin A. Yates, James A. Van Voast, Alex. M. 
Vedder; Thomas Yelverton, Clerk of the Court; 
William J. Stevens, Crier; Jacob De Forest, 


TADY, N. Y. 

At the first settlement of Schenectady in 1662, 
there were but five Dutch churches and ministers in 
the Province, viz. : those of 

New Amsterdam (New York), whose ministers 
were Johannes Megapolensis and Samuel Drisius. 

Beverwyck (Albany), Gideon Schaets. 

Breuckelyn (Brooklyn), Henricus Selyns. 

Esopus (Kingston), Hermanns Bloom. 

Midwout and Amersfort (Hatbush, L. I.), Johan- 
nes T. Polhemus. 

Of these the church at Beverwyck, founded 
twenty years before, was the oldest in the colony, 
except that of New Amsterdam. * Her first dominie 
(1642 to 1647) was Johannes Megapolensis, who 
now ministered in New Amsterdam; the second, 

•A church (Presbvterian so far as having niUng elden) composed 
of settlers who founded Southampton, L. I., in June, 1640, wa« organ- 
ized at Lynn in May of that year, and a similar church was organized 
at New Haven in October of the same year by the settlers of Southold. 
oa the same island, the settlement of this latter town having also been 
effected in the month of October. 






Gideon Schaets ( 1 6 5 2-1 690). The latter probably 
assisted at the organization of the church at Schenec- 
tady, to which he occasionally ministered until his 
labors ceased in his own church in 1690. 

The date and circumstances of this organization 
are involved in much obscurity, the early records of 
both churches being lost But from occasional 
mention made in contemporaneous papers and rec- 
ords, it is safe to say that the church of Schenectady 
was in existence between the years 1670 and 1680, 
and probably earlier. Thus, on the occasion of the 
death of Hans Janse Eenkluys, in 1683, the dea- 
cons petition the court at Albany for letters of ad- 
ministration on his effects, and say * * * 
*'dai eenen Hans Janssen op den 7 meeri 16 j\ heefi 
cruergedraegen aende aermen van Schaenhechtade 
zeecke syne planlage*' etc., etc.; in other words, that 
Hans Janse, in 1675, naade over to the poor of 
Schenectady his plantation, on condition he should 
be maintained in his old age and weakness, which 
they say they have done, and paid the expenses of 
his burial Now this plantage was simply the * * Poor 
Pasture," and was the property of the church from 
Eenkluys' time down to 1862, when it was sold. 

These facts seem to point to the existence of the 
clfurch as early as 1674, for it is a well-known fact 
that the Dutch churches were the guardians of the 
poor, the orphans, and the aged, who were without 
natural protectors, and received and dispensed large 
alms and property for this purpose. 

The next incidental mention of this church is 
found in the records of the city of Albany. In 
February, 1679, "the court and consistory of 
Schenectady requested that Domine Schaets may be 
sent four Sundays in one year to administer the 
Lord's Supper to said place and community, which 
request is granted in so far that Domine Schaets is 
allowed to go four times in one year to administer 
the Holy Sacrament, but not on a Sunday, whereas 
it would be unjust to let the community [of Al- 
bany] be without preaching. " 

Thirdly, The prosperous condition of the poor 
fund of the church from 1680 to 1690 shows 
pretty clearly that it had been organized some 
years previous to the former date. At the close of 
the year i689,2?<7JWiw^Thesschenmaecker audited the 
deacons' account];, and found that the unexpended 
alms contributed for the poor amounted to about 
4,000 guilders, of which about 3,000 guilders had 
been loaned to individuals on bonds dating back in 
one case to 168 1. Though the Dutch were a liberal 
people in matters appertaining to their church, it is 
not probable that such an accumulation of alms was 
made entirely within the ten years above mentioned, 
especially when their numbers are considered, 
and that in this time the parsonage house was con- 
structed and their first Dominie was called and 
maintained. It is fair, therefore, to conclude that 
the Dutch Church of Schenectady was certainly an 
organized body in 1674 — probably much earlier. 

The first twenty years of the village was a strug- 
gle with the hardshi{>s of frontier Hfe; its energies 
were spent in removing the forest and subduing the 
soil. For religious privileges it was dependent 
upon Albany until 1683, when the little hamlet 

having grown sufficiently strong in numbers and 
wealth, called its first minister. The earliest men- 
lion of Dominie Thesschenmaecker in the church 
records is found in a book of miscellaneous writ- 
ings, the first leaves of which unfortunately are 

The following is a copy and translation of the 
first page in its present mutilated condition: 

Uytgyeve. ["683?] 

aen Myndert Wemp, F. 48 

aen een lean, 8 

aen Jan RoeloCsen voor 24 

aen 5 Wilte broden, I 

aen domine Tassemaker 24 

aen emanual Consaul, 6 

aen Lubbert gysbertse voor 2 dagen Wercke, 6 

aen spyckers van Albanie, 6 

aen den ^ duyzend harde steen, 18 

aen 2 bevers aen Laseysers tot het buys te singelen, 48 

aen 12 gulden aen door slacken en voor verb- 

myck aen de heyninge, 12 
27 april voor wyn tot het nagbt mael aen domine tass- 

cbenmaker betalt, 20 
27 May domine Schats Vcrstelt, 36 
Schoonmaken van der Kerche, 13 
1 . 10 


2. 10 

Voor wyn van het naght mael, 20.0 

aen Adam Vroom, 24. 

nogh aen domine tasschemaker voort maken vande 

heyninge aen het erf^ 45 . 

nogh voor 7 maal witte broot tot het avont mael a 

fl. 1. 10 a maal, 10.10 

Class permurent een dagen ryden, 1 8 

24^ dagen aen de heyninge, 22 

Voor te singelen van 't buys, 12 

aen 2 Vragsten posten gasacht, 6 

2 glazz Raamen, 10 

Somma, fl. 516-13 


Expenditures. [1683?] 

To Myndert Wemp, guilders, F. 48 

To [paid for] a pot, 8 

To Jan Roelofisen, for. 24 

To 5 white loaves, I 

To domine Tassemaker, 24 

To Emanual Consaul, 6 

To Lubbcrtse Gysbertee for two days' work, 6 

To nails from Albany, 6 

To the half thousand hard bricks, 18 

To two beavers to Laseysers shineling the house, 48 

To 12 guilders for stakes tor use on the fence, 12 

27 April, For wine for the Lord's Supper paid to 

DDmine Tasschenmaker, 20 
27 May, presented to Domine Schaets, 36 
Cleaning the church, 13 
1 . 10 


2. 10 

For wine for the Lord's supper, 20.0 

To Adam Vrooman, 24. 

Also to Domine Tasschemaker for making the fence 

to the lot, 45 . 

Also for white bread 7 times for the Lord's supper a 

fl. 1. 10 a time, 10. 10 

Class Purmerent [Van der Volgen] one day's carting, 18 
2^ days on the fence, 22 

for the shingles of the house, 12 

To two loads of posts sawed, 6 

2 window glasses (or sashes), 10 

Total, florins 516.13 

From these accounts we learn that Dominie 
Thesschenmaecker came to Schenectady before the 

death of Dominie Schaets {1690), and that ihe first 
cjflhe five houses of worehip built by this society 
was then built. We know litile about it except 
that it was small and inconvenient, and thai it stood 
at the junction of Church, Slate and Water streets. 
Dominie Pieter Thesschenmaecker, litde known 
except by his tragical end, came to this coun- 
try from fiuiana, whither he had gone from 
L'trecht a young theological student, and is first 
mentioned in a petition for his services, dated 

It appears that 
dained, for in 1679, 
castle on the Delaw 
Dominie Newcnhuv; 


time he had not been or- 
appliciition from New- 
the Governor directed 

examine and induct hi 

into the ministry of the Protestant Reformed 

After his ordination, Dominie Thessch en maecker 
departed immediately for his new field of labors. 
Here he remained three years until i68z, when he 
left and accepted a call from Schenectady, where 
he labored six years with reasonable success. 

Until 1700 the church was without a pastor, and 
indeed it does not appear tliat Uie people had any 
religious privileges, except such as might be had 
by a visit to Albany, until 1694, when Dominie 
Dellius began to minister to them occasionally. 
His first recorded visits that year were on the 1 1 th 
of April and qlh of October, on which occasions 
new members were added to the church and chil- 
dren baptized. In 1695 he came four times, viz.: 
on the 2d January, 27th Mairh, ifith June and 9th 
October, In 1696 five times: January 8th, April 
iSlh, July isl, September igdiand December joih. 
In 1697 three times: April fiih, June 30th and No- 
vember loth. And in 1698 fourtimes: ijt]* April, 
zothjuly. J 9i!i October and 28tli December. In all 
eighteen visits in five years. 

In 1699 Dominie Dellius returned to tlie Father- 
land, and Dominie Johannes Petrus Nucella, suc- 
ceeding to his place as minister of Albany, visited 
Schenectadj- once — on the 31st of August. The 
following year he came twice, viz. : on the ylh Jan- 
uary and 25lh May. 

The number ofmembers added to the church by 
these two ministers was twenty-five ; the number 
of children baptized seventy-six, seven of whom 
were Indians. 

But no sooner was peace proclaimed in 1697 
than both village and church began a new career 
of prosperity. Within five years a second minister 
was called, and a new house of worship was 

Dominie B. Freeman (or Freerman) succeeded 
Dominie Dellius in 1700. He was a man of ma- 
ture age. In 1698 he was a member of the church 
of Amsterdam, and on the glh of March of that 
year was licensed to preach by the Classis of Wor- 
den and Overryaland, and ordained by the Classis of 
Lingen, March ifi, 1760. He immediately de- 
parted for his distant charge, accompanied by 
Dominie Johannes Lydius. On the zoth of July 
they arrived in Albany, where the latter remained, 
while the former passed on to SchenecUdy, and 
on the 28th commenced his labors as pastor of the 

church and missionary to the Mohawks. The latter 
office had been filled by Dominie Dellius for many 
years, and both for political as well as religious 
reason.s, it was considered important to continue so 
powerful an agency among the native tribes. 



In regard 10 this mailer the Karl of Bcllmonl. 
Governor of the Provinces, said to the assembled 
Sachems of the Five Nations, on the z6th of Au- 
gust, 1700: * * * "I have sent to England 
for ministers lo instruct you in the true Christian 
religion. I expect some very soon ; for the present 
I shall settle Mr. Vreeman, an able, good minister, 
at Schenectada, who I intend shall be one of those 
that shall be appointed to instruct you in the true 
faith. He will be near the Mohacks, and in your 
way as you come from [the] several castles to this 
town (Albany), and will take pains lo teach you. 
He has promised me to apply himself with all dil- 
ligence to learn your language, and doubts not to 
be able to preach to you therein in a year's time. " 
In a communication to the Board of Trade the Gov- 
ernor says ; " I send jour Lordships a copy of Mr. 
Freeman's letter. He is a Dutch -minister at Sche- 
nectady, and a very good sort of a man." 

As Albany was the headquarters of Indian trade 
as well as of the yearly Council held with the Five 
Nations, Dominie Lydius was also appointed t 
instruct the natives in the Christian faith, and "yc 
bettar to enable him to ser\'e them in )'e work of 
the Gospell, ye Inlerpretesse [Hillitie] was ap- 
pointed to be his assistant in thai atfair as former- 

'>■•" * * * 

In the five years spent ai Schenectady, Dommie 
Freeman became well versed in the Indian tongue, 
so as not only to preach, but to write in it. and so 
attached were the natives t'j him, that five years 
after he left Schcneclady they petitioned Gov, Hunter 
for his reappointment, "and that he live [with us! 
at our Castle and not at Schinnectady nor Albany. ' 

Probably his was the first attempt made to trans- 
late the church service or portions of the Holy 
Scriptures into the language of the Mohawks, 



The salary of the early ministers of this church 
was one hundred pounds of New York currency 
($250), house and garden rent free, pasturage for 
two cows and a horse, and sixtv cords of wood de- 
livered at the parsonage. The salary commenced 
from the day the Dominie sailed from Holland, 
and the expenses of the voyage, until he arrived in 
Schenectady, were paid by the church. The fol- 
lowing is Do. Freeman's first bill, rendered August 
25, 1700: 

** 16 mar. 1700 to 25 aug. the Consistory is in- 
debted to Domine Freeman : 

** For current salary from the 16 march to the 25th 
of august, — is fi\Q months and nine days and 
amounts to a sum of fifty pounds and something 
more, — is in sewant, gl. 2.000 

**Also expenses incurred on the voyage, in fresh 
provisions, wine, brandy, vegetables and hens, be- 
sides about three weeks expenses on the Isle of 
Wight, — is the sum of gl. 374 (or $46.75) 

gl. 2.374 (or $296.75) 

* * Schenectady. Barnhardus Freerman. " 

Trifling as this amount may seem, the little 
community were unable to raise it, and on the 3d 
of September, 1700, applied to the Common 
Council of Albany for permission to solicit contri- 
butions in Albany. In reply, the Commonalty ad- 
vise * * that they first goe and Visite there own Con- 
gregation, and if they do not obtaine said Sallary 
by them, then to make their application to the 
Commonalit)' at ye next Court day." 

When Do. Freeman was appointed missionary 
to the Indians by Gov. Bellomont, he was prom- 
ised a salary of j^6o; for expenses, /'15; and 
for the interpreter, Laurens Claese Van der Volgen, 
who was his assistant, ^"25. 

The Governor expected to obtain this salar}' 
from the corporation for the propagation of the 
gospel at Boston, but in case he failed there, prom- 
ised to secure it for him out of the revenue of the 

It is presumed that said corporation declined to 
assume this burden, and, as a consequence, the 
General Assembly passed an act in his favor. 

On the death of Do. Lupardus, of Kings Coun- 
ty, in 1702, the consistory of the churches there 
applied to Gov. Combury for permission to call 
Do. Freeman, who at the same time gave encour- 
agement of his acceptance. 

Fearing their minister might be enticed away 
from them, the Consistory of the church in Sche- 
nectady, the next year, presented to Lord Combury 
a remonstrance against his leaving; notwithstand- 
ing which, and also that the Governor objected to 
his leaving, he accepted the call. It was not, 
however, until the summer of 1 705 that he left for 
Flatbush, the license to change his pastoral rela- 
tions being finally granted by Gov. Combury on 
the 26th of December of the same year. 

Soon after Do. Freeman came to Schenectady, 
the house of worship then used was found to be 
unfit for the accommodation of the inhabitants 
and Indian proselytes; but as the little community 
had not yet fully recovered from the effects of the 

late incursion of the French and their savage allies, 
the funds necessary for a new house could not be 
raised without aid from abroad. A petition, there- 
fore, was presented to Gov. Nanfan in 1701, asking 
permission to circulate a subscription throughout 
the Province for this purpose. 

This petition being favorably received by the 
Governor and Council, on the 27th October, 1701, 
he issued his license to the inhabitants of Schenec- 
tady to receive contributions from the people of the 
Province for the space of six months from that 
date, and directed all justices of the peace, 
schouts and other ofl5cers of his Majesty, as well 
as ministers of the gospel, to use their utmost en- 
deavors to aid this laudable object This appeal 
to the liberality of their neighbors was successful, 
and the church was probably finished in 1703. 
The site was that of the first house of worship, at 
the junction of Church, Water and State streets, 
and the dimensions, fifty-six north and south by 
forty- six feet east and west, Amsterdam measure. 
The burying ground adjoined the church upon the 
west side, and was fifteen feet wide by fifty-six feet 
long. Speaking of Schenectady in 1710, the Rev. 
Thomas Barclay says: ** There is a convenient and 
well-built church, which they freely give me the 
use of" 

Probably it was substantially built of stone, for 
after its abandonment in 1734 as a place of wor- 
ship, it was used for some years as a fort By the 
year 1754 it had been either removed or used as a 
barracks, watch-house and market ; by 1 768 the 
site was clear and designated the Market Place. 

The removal of Do. Freeman was a disheartening 
event to the church. He had gained the confi- 
dence of the people and considerable influence 
over the neighboring Indians. To obtain another 
minister from Holland, in their present circum- 
stances, was impossible. They were not only a 
small, but a poor people and, without aid, not in a 
condition to suppK>rt a minister. 

For the following ten years they were destitute 
of the stated ministry, being only occasionally 
visited by the ministers of Albany and other more 
distant settlements. 

Between the years 1705 and 171 5, Dominies 
Johannes Lydius and Petrus Van Driessen, of Al- 
bany, Petrus Vas, of Kingston, and Gualtems Du 
Bois, of New York, made 24 visits to Schenectady, 
baptizing 152 children, of whom 19 were Indians. 
In all this time the records show but one member 
added to the church. 

Rev. Thomas Barclay, chaplain to the fort 
in Albany, preached occasionally in Schenectady. 

As early as 1713, the church applied to Go vemor 
Hunter for permission to call a new minister, and 
received his license, dated July 27th that year. On 
the 1 7th day of May the following year, the con- 
sistory addressed a letter to Willem Bancker, mer- 
chant, of Amsterdam, and Rev. Matthias Winter- 
wyck, of Alphen (Dalphin ?), Holland, authorizing 
them to procure a minister for the church, and 
promising him a salary of £()o, to commence on 
his arrival, a dwelling free of rent, firewood at the 
door, a large garden, and free pasture for two 


cows and a horec. The result of thiii negotiation 
was the arrival of Dominie Thomas Brouwer, in 
July, 1714- He died on the 15th of January-, 1718. 
In his will he left ^25 — one-half to the church and 
the other for the poor ; his gun, pistols, horse, table 
linen, etc., lo various members of the farailtes of 
Gerrit Symonse Veeder and Johannes Banker, and 
his books, best clothing, linen, etc., to his two 
brothers. He speaks of neither wife nor children. 
The fourth minister of the church was Da 
Reinhardus Erichzon. His call or Beroep brief 
was dated 30lh March, 1728, two and a half 

months after the death of hiii predecessor. He 
was probably a native, or at least a resilient, of 
Groningen, Nnrlh Holland, and before his call to 
Schenectady had ministered three years to the 
churches of Hackensack, Paramus and Schraalen- 
berg, New Jersey. The consistory agreed to give 
him a salary of j[iQo ($250), a parsonage house 
in good repair, a garden kept in a fence, pasture 
for a horse and two cows and firewood at 
door. Dominie Erichzon left bchenecLady in 
tober, 1736, having received a call to the church of ] 
Freehold and Middk-town, K J. 

JVTf»Mk.tTj^ "^ "^ 

The matter of erecting a larger church began to 
be agitated soon after Do, Erichzon became pastor, 
and the congregation was able not only to build a 
house which for the time was both substantial and 
spacious, but also to furnish it with a bell and 

As a preliminary step in this new enterprise, a 
subscription papsr was circulated through the 
town in 1730. by which ^"322 was obtained, and 
extending the appeal up the valley a slill further 
sum of ^^33-15 was subscribed in money and 
wheat, The entire sum did not amount to quite 
one-third thecostof the church, which was jC^.'Sj 
-t7-K) ($1,919.73) '' t**^ remainder was probably 

derived from the accumulations of former years 
and from sales of lands and leases — the gift of the 
trustees ofthe common lands. 

The following is the beading ofthe subscription, 
and is interesting as showing the forfeiture for non- 
payment of tlie pledges made for the building of 
this edifice : 

"We, or I, the underwritten, promise to pay to 
Arent Bratt, Jacobus Van Dyck, Dirck Groot and 
Cornelis Van der Volgen, and Robert Yates, Jacob 
Swits, Wouter Vrooraan and Jan Barentse Wemp, 
Elders and Deacons, or to their successors, the 
sum which we, or I, subscribe with our hands, so 
soon as the foundation of said church is laid ; and 

crrr of schenkctadv.— ecclesiastical societies. 


failing of the same, we, or I, promise lo [>ay len 
pounds current money if we, or I, arc negligent in 
llie payment of the sum of rnonc)' which I with 
mv lijnd subscribe. As witness our hands o 


After thorough preparation, the work w 
1 the spring of 1731. HcTufricI; Vrooi 

i begun 

Btias (B0S8) of the men, of whom seventeen were 
ctrpcnicis, besides masons, glaciers, etc. His 
wages was seven shillings a day ; the others were 
paid from five to six shillings. The Preeci-sl'x\ 
[pulpitj was built by Pieter Comu forj^io, and 
Gysben W. Vandenbergli, of Albany, contracted to 
do ihc mason work for £^0. 

;>an^V tW^i? "i'l^jv^t 

This house was dedicated January 13, 1734, on 
which occasion Do. Erich zon preached in the 
morning, and Do. Van Drlessen, of Albany, in the 
afternoon. The following Sabbaths, January 20 
and ty, the pastor continued the subject of his first 

This third house was situated in Church street, 
at its junction with Union street, and was eighty 
feet in length north and south, and fifty-six feel 
wide, The trustees of the town conveyed to the 
church not only this site, but also the land around 
the sime ten feet in width, except 00 the west side, 
where, by reason of the narrowness of the street, 
it was limited to five feet The building material 
wa^ blue sandstone or graywacke from the quarries 
eaal of the village. It bad two entrances, one on 
the south end, the other on the east side, over 
which was built a porch with a staircase leading to 
salleries. The roof was in the gambrel style, a 
few specimens of which still remain in the city. 
The belfry and clock lower stood on the north end. 
As seen from the cast end of l^nion street, it pre- 
sented a pleasing and imposing appearance. The 
tub-shaped pulpit, fixed upon a narrow pedestal, 
and surmounted by a conical sounding board, was 
buill against the west wall, in front of which an 
open space was tailed in called the Doophuisjt. 

Here the Dominic stood while administering the 
rite of baptism. 

There was a gallery upon all sides save the west, 
whether built with the church or at a later day is 
not known, as no mention is made of it before the 
j'ear 1 788, when it began to be occupied by adult 
males who could not obtain seats below. In this, 
as in other Dutch congregations, the males and fe- 
males sat apart, the former upon raised seals, 
called gesloelte, placed against the walls of the 
church, and the latter in slips or hancken upon the 
floor of the house. 

In the first allotments of seats little regard was 
had to family relations, nor was there any ex- 
change of sittings, and so long as the yearly rent 
was paid they were the properly of the occupants, 
but in case of removal or death passed to the near- 
est relative of the same sex. Only in case of non- 
payment of the customary rent was a seat forfeited. 
It was then allotted anew at the discretion of the 
consistory. Every transfer of a sitting cost the new 
occupant twelve shillings, besides the yearly rent of 
five shillings for males and four shillings for fe- 
males. The same sitting was in some cases re- 
tained in the same family for three or four genera- 
tions. The Blipts were numbered from one upward. 
The deacons and elders sat in the four benches on 


each side of the pulpit, and the magistrates and 
other men of note upon the long benches on the 
west side of the church, extending from the pulpit 
around lo the south door. 

During the eighty years that this church stood, 
but fcw and trifling changes were made in the slitw 
or bancken first erected, and these chiefly by addi- 
tions to accommodate the increasing congregation. 
The number of places {plaalsen) occupied by 
adults at different periods were as follows: 

In 1734. men's seals. 86; men in gallery, o; 
women's seats, 218; total, 304. 

In 1754, men's seals, 104; men in gallery, o; 
women's seats, 3»8; total, 432. 

In 1788, men's seats, 125; men in gallery, 35; 
women's seats, 346; total, 506. 

From 1788 to 1814, when the old church was 
removed, newcomers could not rent seats without 
great difficulty, escept in the gallery, which being 
chiefly occupied by boys and negroes, was not 
considered quite respeciable. 

The people worshiped on the Sabbath almost 
to the beginning of this century even in the coldest 
winter, without any other artificial heat than that 

aerived from foot-stoves, The first stoves used in 
this church were bought in December, 1792, and 
set up that winter. They were placed upon two 
platforms elevated to the height of the gallery, and 
reached by climbing over the balustrade. Itis said 
thai the Klokluyer was accustomed to replenish 
(hem at the beginning of the dominie's sermon: 
and, to notify ihe congregation of the importance of 
his vocation, was particularly noisy in opening 
and in shutting the stove-doora. By this arrange- 
ment " the top of the church was comfortable, but 
the people below had to carry foot-stoves to keep 
themselves warm." So unsatisfactory v/as tliis ex- 
periment in warming the church that the mailer 
was discussed by ihe consistory, and the result was 
that the elevated platforms were removed and the 
stoves placed upon the floor of the church. 

The bell for the church was procured in Amster- 
dam and did faithful service for more than a cen- 
tury, unlil it was cracked in 184S. It bore the 
following inscription : 

" De Klok van de Neder-duidsch gemeenle van 
Sconechiade door Haar self bezorghl anno 1732. 
JH? fccerunl De Grave et muller Amsterdam. " 

It was the custom to ring ii three times I 
commencing religious service down to January, 
iSio, when the consistory 

" Resotaed, that in future the bell shall be rung 
Iwice. as usual, previous to ihe commencement of 
public worship, and that tolling shall be substi- 
tuted for the Ihird ringing."' It is said the bell 
was also rung at the close of service, that the 
servants at home might have ihe dinner ready on 
their masters' return. 

In 1 740 Ihe church had a public or [own clock, 
purchased probablv at the same time with the 

Although the church had owned considerable 
real estate more than fifty years, it had no corpo- 
rate existence in law and could neither hold nor 
alienate property, save through individuals acting 
as its trustees. Feeling the precarious nature of 
such a tenure, when the church edifice was finished, 
the consistory petitioned the Governor and Council 
for a charter. This application was favorably 
considered, and on the third day of August, 1734, 
a charter was granted under the great seal of the 



Parsonage. — The old parsonage on the site of 
the present church had now stood ^hy years or 
more and was falling to decay. It was doubtless 
the house mentioned in the deed of 171 5 to Do. 
Brouwer and the consistory, and was probably of 
wood, as were all other houses of this date. It 
was therefore removed in 1753, and a new build- 
ing of brick erected on the same lot. It was one 
story and a half high, with the usual pointed 
Dutch gable ends. There were two rooms in 
front on the Union street side. The door was in 
the middle, over which was a gable. This house 
stood about sixty years, when it gave place to the 
church of 1 8 14. 

As early as 1805 the subject of repairing the 
old church was agitated. The church which had 
stood for so long in mid-street in Albany had gone 
before the march of improvement, and there was a 
feeling that Schenectady should follow in its wake. 
In 1 8 ID the consistor>' appointed a committee to 
draw a plan and to report as to the possibility of a 
new church building, and still another committee 
to meet the wishes of those who desired to see the 
old church put in repair. The result of this was a 
decision to build anew on the parsonage lot. 
There was much opposition to this on the part of 
those whose affections clung to the old church, 
and many thought that the church should be built 
further east, as the population was extending in that 
direction. The two sites of the former churches 
were finally sold to the city to be thrown open to 
the streets, and the contracts for the new house of 
worship signed in 181 2. In the autumn of 18 14 
it was so near completion that it could be used for 
public worship, and on the 20th November the 
last services were held in the old building. In the 
treasurer s book is the following entry under date 
5th July, 1814 : **To paid for liquor when the 
old spire was taken down, ^ji^ cents.'* Nov. 30, 
1 8 14, Charles Kane and Henry Yates bought the 
old church for $442.50. The new church was 
built l)ut little larger than the old one, and it is a 
singular fact that for a period of 1 28 years, from 
1734 to 1862, the church accommodations of this 
congregation remained substantially the same. In 
the meantime the little hamlet grew into a village, 
and the village into a city of respectable dimen- 
sions. The church had but few competitors in the 
field, and though it became the mother church of 
this region, with one exception all her colonies 
were sent out some years subsequent to 1814. It 
is proper to make special mention of Nicolas 
Van der Volgen and his wife, who were large 
benefactors to this church. By them were given 
the high brass chandeliers in 1792, and the pleasant 
organ in 1797, which some now living remember 
to have heard. The great chandelier (groote 
kroon) had eighteen lights, besides which there 
were seven lesser ones (kleyndere kroonan) of 
six lights each, costing altogether £(i'j-io New 
York currency. The gift for the organ was 
allowed to accumulate until probably 1826, when 
it was obtained from Henry Erben, of New York, at 
the probable cost of $r,ooo. It was consumed 
by fire with the church in 1861. 

VooRLEZER AND VooRSANGER. — ^Thc duties of thesc 
officers were usually united in the same person 
and defined by resolution of the Consistory; 

January 8, 1810, '* Resohed, that in future the 
Clerk of the Church shall commence public service 
in the morning with the reading of the ten com- 
mandments, a chapter of the Bible, and Psalm or 
Hymn at discretion; and in the afternoon with the 
reading of the articles of the Creed, together with a 
Chapter, and Psalm or Hymn." In addition to the 
above he had *' the right and emoluments of bury- 
ing the dead of the congregation." Next to the 
minister he was the most inportant officer of the 

To improve the psalmody of the cdhgregation, 
on the 13th of February, 1794, the consistory took 
the following action: **The consistory take into 
consideration the defective condition of the Dutch 
Pslamody in the public worship of this church. 
Resoked, that Cornelis De Graflf, the chorister, 
shall use his endeavors, in each family of this vil- 
lage and elsewere, to obtain pupils in singing, on 
condition that each shall pay one shilling and six- 
pence a month, the consistory also adding thereto 
for each scholar for the term of six months one 
shilling and six-pence a month; provided a certifi- 
cate be shown to the consistory signed by Mr. De 
Graflf that each scholar has diligently spent his time 
as he ought 

'* Also, Mr. De Graflf, in singing, shall trj' to ob- 
serve the measure of the half notes and soften his 
voice as much as possible." Mr. De Graflf was 
voorzenger for twenty-nine years, and tradition says 
that the advice given him by the consistory was by 
no means inappropriate. It is said that while sit- 
ting on the * ' back stoop " of his house, which 
stood where the late Mrs. Abel Smith s house now 
stands, on State street, he beguiled the evening 
hours in summer by psalm singing, and that his 
voice could be clearly heard two miles up the river 
in a straight line. 

Klokli'yer. — ^The sexton of the church was 
called the Klokluyer, or bell-ringer, and his duties 
seem to have been not only to ring the bell, but to 
keep the benches and seats in proper order and to 
dig and fill the graves. The earliest mention of 
this officer in the church records is the following: 

'* At a consistory held this ist July, 1696, it was 
resolved that Simon Groot, Sr. , for ringing the bell 
and arranging the benches and stools in the church, 
shall receive annually, out of the income of the 
church or of the deacons' money, the sum of 60 
guilders seawant [$7.50], to begin on this ist of 

This Simon Groot was the first of the name that 
settled here, and the ancestor of all the Groots 
found in this vicinity. He and his five sons were 
carried captives into Canada by the French and In- 
dians in 1 690. 

The salary of the sexton was the same down to 
1735, when it was increased to the yearly stipend 
of $15. 

Margaret Veeder, widow of Symon Volkertse 
Veeder, held the office during the years 1748-9 for 
$8.25 per annum. 



From 1750 to 1758 Sara Marselis was bell-ringer, 
the duties being performed for j^4, or $10. 

In 1759 Isaac Quackenbos' **neger" rang the 
bell, and **Peeter Seesar " (Ca*sar), from 1760 to 
1 766, for £6 per annum. 

Jacob Van Cise was sexton from 1771 to 179 1, 
at a salary of £\o, and was succeeded by his son 
Gjrsbert, who was dismissed from the office in 1 799 
**for delivering the skull of a corpse to the house 
of Dr. Anderson, and which he was compelled to 
return in the presence of one of the members of 
the consistory, and deposit in the place whence 
it was taken." 

The sexton was required to keep order in the 
church during public worship, and was indemnified 
against any legal process **that might arise for 
correcting or turning out of church the unruly and 
refractory; provided he do not essentially injure or 
scandalously abuse any person. " 

Mr. Janus Lighthall was appointed sexton in 

Baptisms. — ^The baptismal register of this church 
from 1694 to this time is entire, with the exception 
of ten years during Dominie Vrooman's ministry; 
and as all children were baptized, both colored and 
Indian as well as white, legitimate and illegitimate, 
it is the only authoritative source, if rightly inter- 
preted, whence the descendants of most of the old 
Dutch femilies of this region can derive their pedi- 
grees. In early times baptism was always per- 
formed in the church, unless unavoidably prevented, 
and within a few days after birth; sometimes on the 
birthday. And it was the duty of the dominie to 
register each baptized child, with the parents and 
witnesses' names. 

The number of registered baptisms from 1694 to 
1852 is 11,396. 

Marriages. — The marriage register of this church 
contains the names of 2,543 couples married be- 
tween 1694 and 1852. 

Under the Dutch Government of New Nether- 
lands, marriage was considered a civil contract, and 
might be confirmed either by a magistrate or a 
minister of the gospel. Preliminary to such con- 
firmation, however, the bans were published three 
Sundays or market days by the minister of the 
church where the parties resided, or by a magis- 
trate in the court, after which the marriage could 
be confirmed by any minister or magistrate on pres- 
entation of a certificate of such publication. No 
particular place was required for the marriage cere- 
mony. Sometimes it was performed in the church 
and sometimes in private houses. As it was im- 
possible or inconvenient to comply with the law in 
all cases, a dispensation and license was granted 
by the Governor, on the presentation of a ' * penal 
bond of j^500 that there was no lawful let or im- 
pediment " to such marriage. The practice of 
issuing licenses ceased with the British rule in this 
State in 1783. 

When a widow or widower with infant children 
married again, it was customary for the parties to 
contract with the Orphans* Court guardians to pro- 
tect and preserve the property of said children un- 
til they arrived at lawful age. 

Courtship. — ^Comparatively little can be learned 
about the courtship customs in the early days of the 
frontier settlements. However, **old maids'' were 
unknown, and widows seldom died in widowhood, 
unless at very advanced age. They easily and 
soon secured another husband, a very necessary 
protection in the sparse settlements of the border 
lands. The girls were needed at home, and were 
in great demand as housewives, and needed no 
fortune save health and strength as their marriage 
portion. If marriages of convenience were made, 
the wealth brought to the husband was in the 
bride's strength and housewifely skill, and the fam- 
ily influence gained by the match. The custom 
of * ' bundling " was probably practiced to some ex- 
tent in all the early settlements along the Hudson 
and in this vicinity. The records of Albany 
County show some early cases in this locality. At 
the time of the Revolution it was generally preva- 
lent among the Dutch, insomuch that anything 
wrong in it did not prevail. 

Speaking of Van Corlear, Washington Irving 
says: '*Van Corlear stopped occasionally in the 
villages to eat pumpkin pies, dance at country 
frolics and bundle with the Yankee lasses." 

Tradition says that within this century sermons 
were preached against it in the Dutch church here, 
and that it was earnestly defended. 

Funerals. — At funerals no women attended the 
body to the grave, but after the body was borne 
out, remained to eat cakes and drink spiced wine. 
They retired quietly before the men returned, who 
then, in their turn, participated in the funeral feast, 
and finished with pipes and tobacco. The best 
room in the house was specially appropriated as 
the **dead room," and was rarely opened but to 
be aired and cleaned. Wealthy citizens, in an- 
ticipation of a death in their families, were accus- 
tomed to procure a cask of wine during their life- 
time, and preserve it for this purpose. The prep- 
arations for the funeral included setting tables 
through the house, and placing thereon plates of 
cake, plates of tobacco, and sometimes hundreds 
of pipes. At the side of each plate of tobacco was 
a small roll of paper for lighting the pipe, also 
candles lit, and wine put up in bottles, and set on 
the table with wine glasses. The spiced wine was 
placed on the tables in silver tankards. The occa- 
sion was more like a wedding than a funeral. 

The coffins were black, made with a reqrular 
taper from head to foot, the top like the pitched 
roof of a house. A large silver plate, the name 
and date of death and age carved on it, was the 
only ornament. When removed from the house 
it was placed upon a bier at the door, a black pall, 
owned by the church, thrown over it, and it was 
borne by six or eight pall-bearers, who had four 
yards of linen given them for scarfs, and the minis- 
ter had the same. They bore it upon their shoul- 
ders to the grave,* followed by the relations, even 
to remote cousins, two by two, and likewise in- 
vited guests. No one attended funerals in olden 
time without an invitation. A list was made out 
by the friends of the deceased, and the sexton 
would go around and invite those whose names 



were thereon. The charges for attending funerals 
were regulated by the consistory of the church. 
The following is a list of prices established in 1771 : 

'* Rules for Comelis De Graff, appointed sexton 
the 1 8th of November, 1771, in regard to what he 
is at liberty to take for inviting (the friends) and 
burying (the dead). 

* ' For a person of twenty years old and upward, 
16s. to 20s. 

** For a person of 15 to 19 years, 15 s. to 19s. 

** For a person of 10 to 14 years, 14s. to i8s. 

** For a person of 5 to 9 years, 13s. to 17s. 

" For a person of i to 4 years, 8s. to 12 s. 

'* For an unbaptized child, when the bell shall 
be rung once, 6s. to los. 

** For ditto when the bell shall not be rung, 3s. 
to 7s. 

** For the Great Pall, 3s. 

*' For the Little Pall, 9d. 

*' All thus when he is obliged to invite (the friends) 
within the village; but when he likewise is obliged 
to extend the invitations without, he may ask 4 
shillings (altered to 6 shillings) more each; this is 
to be understood, as far as Claas Viele's (upper end 
of Maalwyck), or this side; but when he is obliged 
to extend invitations further — to Syme Vedders 
(Hoffman's Ferry) or this side — then he may ask 
3 shillings (altered to six shillings) more. 

** The prices in the above rules are increased by 
reason of the hard times. " 

The grave-digger and bell-ringer was allowed to 
charge as follows: 

**For a person of 7 up to and above 20, for a 
grave, 3s., and for the bell, 3s. 

** For a child i to 6 years, for the grave, 2s., for 
the bell, 3s. 

'* For an unbaptized child, when the bell shall be 
rung once, for the grave, 2s., and for the bell, 2s. 

** For tolling the bell he may likewise ask one 
shilling more." 

He was required at his own expense to keep 
proper tools for making and filling graves, likewise 
proper cords, etc. 

Prior to the year 1 800 there had probably been 
no hearse in the village. In all funeral processions 
the bier and pall were used ; hence it was not con- 
venient to carry the dead a great distance in this 
manner, and the people in the country buried their 
dead on their own lands. 

The consistory of the church procured the first 
hearse in December, 1800, for the use of the con- 
gregation and the public for an established fee. 

Endowments. — Probably no church in the State 
outside the City of New York was so munificently 
endowed as that of Schenectady. In 1740 she 
owned fully twelve square miles of land in this 
county, which, had it been conveyed by long leases 
and not in fee, would have been worth to her now 
from 300,000 to 500,000 dollars. All this mag- 
nificent estate has passed away ; at this time she 
possesses barely a fine house of worship and the lot 
upon which it stands. 

Finances. — In early times the Dutch churches 
often acted as guardians of widows and orphans ; 

they provided for the poor and kindly looked after 
the aged and infirm who had no natural protectors; 
and it was not unusual for the latter to place their 
property in the hands of the consistory, from 
whom they received, from time to time, such sup- 
port as their wants required. The consistory 
were the almoners of the church. Every Lord's 
day a collection was taken of the free-will offerings 
of the people for this, and certain other purf)oses, 
and this duty was not omitted even though there 
were no present objects upon whom their bounty 
might be bestowed. 

In the outset, the little community of Schenec- 
tady seems to have had few or no poor people; with 
the exception of a ** shirt for a captive French- 
man, " it does not appear from the accounts that 
the deacons gave a stiver to any person during the 
years 1687-9. As the funds accumulated they 
were loaned on bond at 6 per cent interest to citi- 
zens. Thus, in the audit of 1689, obligations to 
the amount of nearly 3,000 guilders were included 
in the assets of the church. Moreover the consis- 
tory traded with another portion of these funds, 
buying and selling brass kettles, nails, linen, 
thread, baize, coverlets, etc. 

Particularly unfortunate has it been for Schenec- 
tady that the flames of 1690 spared almost nothing 
of her early records ; with the exception of a few 
leaves of the deacons' account book, all is a 

In 1790, and for some years later, there was 
great scarcity of small change. To meet this in- 
convenience, many individuals, corporations and 
churches issued ** shin-plasters " for one penny and 

On the 6th of September, 1 790, the deacons an- 
nounced to the consistory that in consequence of 
the scarcity of copper money the weekly collections 
in the church had fallen off nearly one-half, and 
therefore inquired whether there was no way of 
remedying the loss. The Reverend Consistory, 
having considered the matter, came to the unani- 
mous conclusion to issue ** shin-plasters." 

The consistory immediately had printed j^ioo 
in one, two, three and six penny notes. They 
were issued by the deacons, and the money re- 
ceived for them was held for their redemption. 


During the four years succeeding Dominie 
Erichzon the church was without a settled pastor, 
but was occasionally visited by the ministers of 
Albany, although they made efforts to secure a 
pastor from Holland. They finally succeeded in 
securing Dominie Comelis Van Santvoord, of 
Stalen Island, who was bom in Leyden, and 
began his ministry in Schenectady, August, 

Dominie Van Santvoord was a man of good 
natural parts and fine culture. He preached 
not only in his native tongue, but also in French 
and English. Under his ministry the church 
enjoyed a good degree of prosperity. His 
sudden demise at the early age of 55 years was a 
sad loss to the town. 



For nearly three years after the church was again 
destitute of a pastor. 

The sixth minister of the church was Dominie 
Barent Vrooman, the first native of the Province 
ever called to this sacred office. His great-grand- 
father was one of the pioneer settlers, and, together 
with his son, was killed in 1690, in the sacking of 
the village by the French. 

He was born in 1725, and began his studies for 
the ministry under Do. Van Santvoord and fin- 
ished them under Do. Frelinghuysen, of Albany. 
In 1 75 1 he went to Holland and studied at the 
University of Utrecht and obtained ordination. He 
was inducted into the sacred office as pastor of the 
congregations of New Paltz, Shawangunk and Wall- 
kil, his parish embracing more than two hundred 
square miles. Although called to Schenectady 
September 18, 1753, ^^ ^^^ ^^^ arrive there until 
November i, 1754. 

The expense and trouble of calling a minister one 
hundred years ago is very imperfectly understood 
by those of the present day. All candidates in 
theology were obliged to spend more or less lime 
at a university in the Fatherland, and after ordina- 
tion they returned at the expense of the church 
calling them. In case of a subsequent removal, it 
was customary for the church making the call to 
pay a portion of this expense. The call of Do. 
Vrooman cost the church in Schenectady $563. 
For thirty years he remained pastor of the church, 
though for four years preceding his death he was 
unable to preach but occasionally, and married 
386 couples, baptized 3,521 children, and received 
453 into church membership. He is said to have 
been a man of much heart, familiar and social, 
and popular with his people. 

Dominie Romeyn was the seventh minister, and 
the last of that long line of ministers who had, 
from the days of Thesschenmaecker, conducted 
the entire service of the church in the Dutch lan- 
guage. His active spirit infused new influence into 
the church and community ; an influence that is felt 
to this time in the educational institutions of the city. 
He was born in Hackensack, N. J. ; graduated 
from Princeton College, 1765; ordained May 14, 
1766; and on the first Sabbath of November, 1784, 
was installed pastor of this church. 

Among his first labors in Schenectady was an 
attempt to improve the schools and establish an 
academy and seminar}'. The result was a charter 
for Union College, which institution he lived to see 
commence its prosperous career under the manage- 
ment of Doctors John Blair Smith, Jonathan Ed- 
wards and Jonathan Maxey. 

His health began failing in 1801, and about the 
middle of 1802 he became permanently incapaci- 
tated for the full p)erformance of his ministerial 
duties and relinquished all claims upon the church, 
accepting instead a salary of $520, and was to 
preach one sermon on the Sabbatii in Dutch. 

In 1797 the General Synod of the Reformed 
Dutch Church elected him one of its Professors of 
Theology, the duties of which he discharged with 
honor to himself and benefit to others till the close 
of his life. He was twice honored with the offer 

of President of Queen's (now Rutgers) College, and 
received from her the degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

During his ministry the church was seriously 
disturbed on the subject of English preaching, as 
there was preaching in English in the Episcopal 
and Presbyterian churches, and fears were enter- 
tained that members of the Dutch congregation 
would be enticed away from their own church. 
Various compromises were made by which there 
was preaching in both English and Dutch at differ- 
ent stated times. The agitation began in 1794, 
and was carried on with more or less intensity for 
some years. Dominie Romeyn died on the i6th of 
April, 1804, and with his death ended stated Dutch 
preaching in the church of Schenectady. 

The Rev. Jacob Sickles was the eighth minister. 
He was bom in Tappan in 1772; graduated at 
Columbia College in 1792; and was licensed by 
the Classis of New York in 1794. He was called 
as assistant minister of this church in October, 
1795, being then a divinity student, at a salary of 

The Rev. John Hardenberg Meier was the ninth 
minister. He graduated at Columbia College in 
1795, studied theology under Dr. Livingston, and 
was licensed by the Classis of New York in 1798, 
at the age of twenty-four years. He accepted a 
call as assistant minister to Dr. Romeyn, in 1802, 
at a salary of $662. 50, with a house and grounds. 
The following May he was installed. In less than 
a year his venerable colleague was removed by 
death, and within two years thereafter the church 
was called to mourn his death also. 

For two years after the death of Do. Meier, the 
pulpit was supplied temporarily by ministers 
from the neighboring churches. The church called 
Rev. John Brodhead Romeyn, son of the late 
pastor, at a salary of $1,000, with house and fire- 
wood. For some reason the call was not accepted, 
and a call was made to Mr. Cornelius Borgardus, 
and he became the tenth minister of the church. He 
was licensed by the Classis of New York in 1808, 
and was ordained and installed pastor of this church 
the 27th of November the same year, being in the 
twenty-ninth year of his age. He remained with 
the church four years, and died December 1 5, 
181 2, aged thirty-two years. 

The first application made for the use of the 
church for a Fourth of July celebration was June 
24, 181 1, when the consistory granted the request, 
** provided no instrumental music shall be used 
and nothing be said in the oration to wound the 
feelings of any political party." 

The Rev. Jacob Van Vechten became the 
eleventh minister, and remained the longest of any 
of its pastors. He graduated from Union College 
in 1809, and was licensed by the Classis of New 
Brunswick in 1814, at the age of 28 years. He 
was inducted into the pastoral office in this church 
June 8, 18 1 5. He received the degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from Williams College, and at the 
time of his death was senior trustee of Union 
College, to which office he was elected in 1837. 
He resigned his pastorate here on the 6th of 
March, 1849, sifter * service of more than 34 


years. He died in iS68 at the residence of his 
Bon-in-law, Prof, Huntington, in Auburn, N. Y. 

The twelfth minister was Rev. Wm. J. R. Tay- 
lor, D, D. He was bom in Schodac, Kennselaer 
County, N. Y,, Ju!y 31. iSaj; graduated at 
Rutgers College, 1841, and from the Theological 
Seminary at New Brunswick, N, J., in 1844. and 
was ordained the same year. His pastorale in 
Schenectady b^an in 1849 and terminated in 

1851. During the last year of his ministry here 
the church "enjoyed a gracious revival of relig- 
ion." It wa^ chiedy through his exertions ihat 
the Second Reformed Church of Schenectady was 

In 1853 the Rev. Julius H. Scelyc, now Presi- 
dent of Amherst College, was settled over tlie 
church, it being his first charge. He was bom in 
Bethel, Conn., Sepiemberu. 1814. Hegraduated 


from Amherst College in 1849, and from Auburn 
Theological Seminary in 1853. 

After a year of study ai Halle he returned from 
Europe, and preached his first sermon at Schenec- 
tady May 12, 1853, and received a unanimous 
call as pastor of Uie church and was installed 
August 10, Dr, Hickok, Vice-President of Union 
College, preaching the sermon. He severed his 
connection with this church to accept the professor- 
ship of McnUl and Moral Philosophy in Amherst 
College, having been its pastor for a little more than 

five years. No communion sen'ice passed during 
his ministry here without the reception of some 
members to the church on a profession of lailli, and 
the annual contributions for benevolent purposes 
more than doubted during his pastorale. 

The Rev. Edward E. Seelye, D. D., was the 
fourteenth minister. He was bom in Lansing- 
burgh, September 14. 1819; graduated from Union 
College in 1839, and from Princeton Seminsiry in 
1843. He was installed over the church in 
Schenectady November 1, 1858. During his pas- 


aistoky OP THE cot/NTF OF Schenectady. 

torate here the church was destroyed by fire, and 
the present beautiful and costly edifice erected, 
the dedication sermon being preached by himself, 
August 6, 1863. He died while on his summer 
vacation, August 10, 1864, at Sandy Hill, the 
place of his former charge. 

The Rev. Dennis Wortman, D. D., became 
the successor of Dr. Seelye. He graduated from 
Amherst in 1857, and from New Brunswick 
Theological Seminary in i860. Because of ill- 
health he resigned his charge here in 1870, 
greatly to the regret of a loving people. During 
his stay $11,000 of indebtedness on the church 
was paid, and the iron fence put around the 

The Rev. Ashbel G. Vermilye, the sixteenth 
pastor of the church, was born in Princeton, 
N. J., in 1822; graduated from New York Univer- 
sity in 1840. He preached his first sermon in the 
church here August 6, 1871, the anniversary of 
the burning of the old and the dedication of the 
new edifice. His labors ceased by resignation, 
December, 1876. 

The Rev. Wm. E. GriflSs, the present pastor, 
was bom in Philadelphia in 1843; entered Rutgers 
College in 1865. After graduation, in 1869, he 
traveled in Europe for a few months, entered the 
New Brunswick Theological Seminary for a year, 
and in December, 1870, went to Japan to engage 
in government educational service. Returning to 
this country in 1874, he spent two years in the 
Union Theological Seminary of New York. He 
received a unanimous call to the pastorate of this 
church. May i, 1877, while yet a member of the 
senior class, and was ordained May 31, 1877. 
The degree of D. D. was conferred up>on him by 
Union College in 1884. 

He is the author of *'The Tokio Guide," " The 
Yokohama Guide," "Map of Tokio, with Histori- 
cal Notes," "The Mikado's Empire," "Japanese 
Fairy World," "Corea, the Hermit Nation," 
" Corea, Without and Within," "Schenectady 
First Church Memorial " (with Prof. Pearson), and 
is now preparing a life of Arendt Van Curler, the 
founder of Schenectady. 

Conclusion. — This church, with its vast estates 
and civil interests, must have had many valuable 
papers pertaining to the ancestry of the people and 
defining many historical facts which are now but 
conjectures. A committee " to examine the papers 
in the old box belonging to the Board, and to de- 
stroy all such papers as they may deem useless," 
was appointed in 1813, and they probably de- 
stroyed much history. It is said that the old rec- 
ords of Virginia were destroyed to cover up the 
sins of the destroyers' ancestors, and tradition has 
it that the consistory of this church in its business 
aspect was a close corporation for the benefit of its 

However this may be, this committee swept out 
of existence the original titles to much of the land, 
and, doubtless, obliterated the ancestral trace of 
many worthy as well as unworthy Dutch settlers 
whose descendants are numerous throughout the 


This church was the natural outgrowth of the 
English occupation from 1664 to the Revolution. 
After the peace in 1754, at the close of the old 
French war, few troops were stationed here, and 
those of the inhabitants who desired to hear preach- 
ing in the English language, such as the English, 
Scotch and New Englanders,were forced to build a 
church for themselves. Paucity of numbers and of 
means delayed this for years, though the founda- 
tion was commenced in 1759. 

The old church still stands — transepts have been 
added in same style of architecture. Unfortu- 
nately, the old sounding board has been removed 
from over the pulpit, but the general quaintness of 
the interior has been preserved. 

"At an early period, the Rev. Thomas Barclay, 
missionary of the English church at Albany, vis- 
ited Schenectady, and, so far as can be ascertained, 
was the first Episcopal minister who held service 
in the place. Writing to London, to the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, by 
which he had been sent over, he says, under date 
of 1 710: 'At Schenectady I preach once a 
month, where there is a garrison of forty soldiers, 
besides about sixteen English and about one hun- 
dred Dutch families. They are all of them my 
constant hearers, I have this summer got an 
English school erected amongst them, and in a 
short time 1 hope their children will be fit for 

"Two years afler, Mr. Barclay left Albany, 
where he was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Miln, 
and he by other missionaries, till 1746. These 
gentlemen doubtless often crossed the pine plains 
to minister to the few churchmen here, though I 
do not find on our records any mention of their 
visits or acts. The Dutch pulpit became regularly 
occupied by its own pastors, and the English 
people, who were the feebler of the two, seem to 
have been brought under its predominating influ- 
ence, instead olvice versa, as Mr. Barclay so fondly 

"In 1748 the Rev. John Ogilvie came to 
Albany as rector of St Peter's. And the same 
year arrived in Schenectady a layman, Mr. John 
W. Brown, whose memory is appropriately pre- 
served by a tablet on the walls of the church. He 
is said to have come from London, and was only 
twenty-one years old at the time of his arrival 
here. From him probably it received its name, 
St George being the patron saint of his native 

"The earliest baptism, by an Episcopal min- 
ister, on the parish register, is that of a daughter 
of Mr. Brown, in 1754, by the Rev. Mr. Ogilvie, 
who performed the same office for another child of 
Mr. Brown in 1859. It also records the baptism 
of three other children of Mr. Brown by Dutch 
ministers — the Revs. Thomas Frelinghise and B. 

"That year — 1759 — ^^^ erection of the church 
edifice seems to have been undertaken; for under 
date of that year the parish books still preserve, 



among other items of disbursement, to * Richard 
Oldrick and Horseford, for digging the foundation 
of the church, £\ 3s. pd.' Amounts for drawing 
timber, and work of the like kind, are mentioned 
from that date onward. The woodwork was done 
under the superintendence of Mr. Samuel Fuller, 
¥4io also became the builder of Johnson Hall. He 
was master of the king's artificers, and came to this 
vicinity from Needham, Massachusetts, with Aber- 
crombie's army. To obtain the necessary assist- 
ance for fulfilling his part of the work on the 
church, he went back, in 1762, to Needham, and 
engaged several carpenters; and besides having 
their regular wages while here, they were to be al- 
lowed a specified sum for ihe seven days it would 
take them to come from Needham, and also for 
the same number of days for their return. It was 
several years before the building was completed for 
occupancy and use, though as early as 1767 we 
find sums collected for pew rents among the treas- 
urer's papers. These papers also show the names 
of persons who subscribed for the erection of the 
church, with their respective amounts. 

'* At that time lived in the Mohawk Valley Sir 
William Johnson. He was a major-general in 
the British service, and general superintendent of 
Indian afifairs in North America. The English 
church had in him a warm friend. He not only 
contributed liberally himself to the erection of this 
building, but also obtained subscriptions fi'om his 
friends in various parts of the colonies — at one 
time j[6i los. from the Governors of Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey, and other distinguished gentle- 
men, while attending a treaty of peace at Fort 
Stanwix. Sir William was also of great service to 
the church here, in procuring for it missionaries 
from the Venerable Society in England, which 
seems to have consulted him in most of-its ap- 
pointments to this region of country. Through 
his co-operation the wardens obtained from the 
Governor of the colony a charter for their church 
in 1 766, and Sir William was requested to act as 
one of the trustees. He was a frequent worshiper 
in these walls, and tradition says that his pew, 
which was on the south side, was distinguished by 
a canopy. The church, as it then was, according 
to a ground plan of it in one of the old books, had two 
doors — one on the west end, and the other on the 
south side (the arch of which still remains), with a 
communion table against the east wall in the mid- 
dle, and directly in front of it two desks for reading 
and preaching; and only a part of the church was 
finished with pews. 

'' During those years the building was used 
more or less by the Presbyterians, who had none 
of their own. A curious statement exists on 
this point, said to have been found among the 
papers of a Mr. Alexander Kelly, a member of that 
body. He says: 'Betwext 1760 and 1770, the 
Episcopalians and presbyterians agreed & build a 
Church Betwext them. The Former to goe in at 
the west Door the Later at the South Door when 
the Church was Finesht John Brown Belonig to the 
English Church went to New York & get it Con- 
secrated under the Bishop unknown to the presby- 

terians. The presbyterians highly ofended at this 
John Duncan, James Wilson, James Shuter, An- 
drew & Hugh Michel, Andrew McFarland & Wm. 
White & Alexander Merser purchest a lot From a 
Gentelm in New York Colected money in varies 
places To Build a Church. The Dutch Inhabi- 
tants Seing How they were Served advanct very 
Liberal in money Boards plank Nails Hinges & 
paint The Church was built about the year 

' ' Mr. Kelly's representation of the case must 
be as faulty as his orthography. To prove this, it 
is enough to state two facts — one, that there was 
no bishop in this country till 1784, thirty years 
after this alleged transaction; and the other, that 
the church was never * consecrated ' till nearly one 
hundred years later by Bishop Potter, in 1859. 

*'As connected with this part of the ecclesiastical 
history of Schenectady, we take the liberty of quot- 
ing from a note on the subject, received by the 
Rector from the Rev. Dr. Darling : ' One of 
the oldest members of my church (Presbyterian), 
when I came here, informed me that the south 
door was walled up after the Presbyterian exodus, 
'' and the Lord put a curse on the mortar so that 
it would not stick ; " though, as she had no pro- 
phetic credentials, you may prefer to account for it 
in some other way. ' 

"It was to matters of this kind that Dr. Darling's 
predecessor, the venerable Dr. Backus, probably 
referred in his historical sermon, preached in 
1879, when he said: 'Ritualism and evangeli- 
cism long contended here for the mastery.' One 
of the champions in that contest was this same Mr. 
Kelly — Sandy Kelly, generally called — who, when a 
pitch-pipe was introduced into the Presbyterian 
worship, rushed down the aisle, and out of the 
door, crying 'Awa' with your box o' whistles!' 
What would he have said and done had his evan- 
gelic ears been shocked by the noble organ which 
now vies with that of Sl George's in improving the 
ritual of God's house ? 

** While the church was being built, the Rev. 
Thomas Brown, who succeeded Mr. Ogilvie at Sl 
Peter's, Albany, and after him the Rev. Harry 
Monroe, seemed to have ministered now and then 
to the church people here, baptizing their childi^n 
and burying their dead, until the arrival of Mr. 
William Andrews. This gentleman had been for 
some time catechist among the Mohawk Indians. 
He was a native of Great Britain. He returned 
home in 1770, when he was ordained by the Bishop 
of London, and appointed missionary at Sche^ 
nectady. He may be considered the first resident 
minister, or rector, of St George's. Mr. Andrews 
opened a grammar school here in 1771 ; but the 
labor attendant on this and his parish broke down 
his health, and he relinquished the mission in 1773, 
and went to Virginia. 

'* Mr. Andrews was soon succeeded by the Rev. 
John Doty, a native of Westchester, and an alum- 
nus of King's (now Columbia) Collie. It was 
now the eve of the Revolution. Like many of his 
brethren, Mr. Doty suffered between a sense of 
duty and the pressure of the times. He was ar- 



rested and kept in ward for awhile. On being 
released, he left for Canada ; and divine service 
was suspended in the church during the remainder 
of the war. 

* * When the independence of the States was estab- 
lished and peace declared, in 1782, the few members 
which Mr. Doty had been forced to abandon were al- 
most entirely scattered. The church edifice had be- 
come dilapidated, the windows were broken out, and 
desolation reigned within and around. Soon after, 
in 1 790, the parish was admitted into union with 
the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
which had become duly organized. But it was 
some time before it could enjoy the services of a 
settled clergyman, depending upon those of Albany 
and other neighboring towns. 

**In 1798 the Rev. Robert G. Wetmore became 
rector, in connection with Christ's Church, Duanes- 
borough ; and from that day its affairs moved on 
in uninterrupted order and with increasing success. 
At the first election of the corporation, Charles 
Martin and John Kane were chosen wardens. In 
a register book, then begun, there is a rude pen- 
and-ink sketch, by Mr. Wetmore's own hand, of 
the church as it then was — a little, oblong stone 
structure, fifty-six feet long (about half its present 
length) by thirty-six feet wide, with three windows 
on each side (the old south door being walled up), 
and in firont a small wooden steeple, crowned by a 
low bell tower, with a cross upon it. It contained 
thirty-six pews (about one-third of its present num- 
ber), and no gallery, except across the west end, 
which was reached by a stairway within the church 
in the northwest corner. The pulpit, with a long 
flight of stairs, was against the east wall in the 
center, with a reading desk in front, and a clerk's 
j)ew in front of that, and the altar, with rails, on 
the north side — an arrangement similar to that 
still existing in the old church at Duanes- 

**Mr. Wetmore resigned in 1801, and some 
years elapsed before his place was regularly sup- 
plied. Meanwhile the services of neighboring 
clergy were occasionally obtained, and several im- 
provements made in the church edifice. At a 
meeting of the vestry in 1804, * Charles Martin and 
John W. Brown represented to the board the ne- 
cessity of taking down the steeple, on account of 
its being in a decayed situation, and proposed to 
obtain by subscription a sum adequate to the erect- 
ing a new steeple.' Messrs. David Tomlinson 
and Wm. Corlett were appointed the committee, 
and the result was the wooden tower (which was 
taken down twelve years ago) and the beautiful 
belfry and spire which crowned it and which were 
deemed worthy of preservation. 

**The foundation of that tower was laid by a 
young man who had then just arrived in Sche- 
nectady, and who, though bom and reared a New 
England Congregationalist, soon attached himself 
to this church, and afterward became most inti- 
mately identified with all its changes and improve- 
ments — David Hearsey. 

**The next rector was the Rev. Cyrus Stebbins, 
who, having been a Methodist minister at Albany, 

was ordained with special reference to this parish, 
by Bishop Moore. He was here from 1806 to 

**For a year or two after Dr. Stebbins' resigna- 
tion the services were kept up, with much 
acceptance to the congregation, by Mr. Alonzo 
Potter, as lay reader, then tutor of Union Col- 
lege, and afterward the Bishop of Pennsylva- 
nia. A tablet to his memory has been placed 
by the trustees of the college on the walls of 
Sl George's. 

*' In 1821 the Rev. Alexis P. Proal was called 
to the rectorship, and he continued in it till 1836. 
During those fifteen yeare several substantial addi- 
tions were made to the church property. A house, 
with lot, belonging to Ahasuerus Wendell, was 
bought for a rectory by the church's side on the 
north ; and more sittings being found necessary 
in the church, side galleries were erected, run- 
ning from the west to the east wall. 

'*Dr. Proal was succeeded by the Rev. Albert 
Smedes, during whose rectorship of three years a 
radical change was made in the church edifice. 
Increased accommodaiions being required, the ves- 
try debated whether to pull down the old building 
and erect a new one, or to enlarge. The latter 
course was adopted ; and so, in the spring and 
summer of 1838, two transepts, or wings, were 
added to the old nave. Under the pulpit was a 
hole, where the clergyman could go and change 
his surplice for a black gown between the service 
and the sermon. Thirty pews were gained on the 
lower floor, besides many others by continuing the 
galleries around the new transepts ; and the grace- 
ful arch over your heads was shut out of sight by a 
floor making the whole upper ceiling flat An- 
other important event in the history of the parish 
during Dr. Smedes' rectorship was the purchase 
of the house next south of the church, called the 
Peek house, where the Sunday school met and the 
sexton lived. The garden was added to the burial 
ground. " 

The most efficient services rendered this church 
during its long history were by the Rev, William 
Payne, D. D., who was bom at Portland, Middle- 
sex County, Conn., in 1815. He early attended 
the academy connected with Hobart's College, 
Geneva, and after a full course at Trinity College, 
Hartford, Conn., graduated from that institution 
in 1834. He next entered the General Theological 
Seminary at New York, and at the end of three 
years was ordained as an Episcopal clerg)'man 
and became rector of St Michael's Church, Litch- 
field, Conn. Here he remained for six years, after 
which he became assistant professor of Latin in 
Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., remaining in 
this position for several years. In 1848 he was 
called to St George's Church in this city, where he 
has remained for an uninterrupted period of thirty- 
five years, retiring from active ministerial work in 
1883. In 1859 he received the degree of D.D. 
from Hobart College, Geneva. 

The Rev. John Philips Brooks Pendleton, S. T. 
B., has just entered upon the duties of the rector- 




The early history of the Presbyterian Church in 
Schenectady is obscure. As late as 1756 there was 
no church in town except the Dutch. Before this 
date, however, settlers from England, Scotland 
and New England were drawn to this * * frontier, " 
by facilities offered for trading with the interior. 
Missionaries, chiefly for the Indians, had been sent 
into these parts by the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel, early in the eighteenth century. 
There was a chapel in the fort which was built in 
J735» and was probably used by different denomi- 
nations for worship. Concerning the church build- 
ing in which the Presbyterians worshiped, now St 
George's Episcopal Church, a tradition existed that 
Presbyterians subscribed to its erection with the 
understanding that it should be used in common 
by both denominations. Between 1 760 and 1 770 
the Episcopalians and Presbyterians * * agreed to 
build a church between them. The former to Goe 
in at the west door, the Later at the South Door. 
When the church was Finesht John Brown, be- 
longing to the English church, went to New York 
and got it consecrated under the Bishop unknown 
to the Presb>terians. The Presbyterians Highlie 
offended at this, purchest a lot, collected money 
in various places to Build a church. The Dutch 
inhabitants, seeing how they were served, advanst 
Liberal in money. Boards, planks, Nails, Hinges 
& paint The church was built about the year 
1770." (Kelley.) 

It is not unlikely that such Presbyterian mission- 
aries as had penetrated to Albany had also visited 
this region, but there was no settled minister before 
1 770, though for some time prior to this date the 
Presbyterians worshiped statedly in a hired ''meet- 

On the 1 2th October, 1769, a lot was purchased 
from Peter De Bois for £100, and work seems to 
have begun at once in earnest, as almost immedi- 
ately follows: ''To 2 Gallons West^ Rum when 
cutting the timber for the church us.;" the next 
item being, '* To cash paid to Phinn & Ellice for 
rum and sugar when rideing timber /'4 9s. 4d. ; and 
Aug., 1 77 1, To tickets bought at New Castle Lot- 
tery j[\ 1 6s. " 

The site of the old meeting house cannot now be 
ascertained, nor can we learn concerning it more 
than that it was furnished with a bell. It was still 
in use 2 2d March, 1773. 

, By the end of '73 the edifice seems to have been 
completed, and ihe bell in the new steeple, with its 
leaden ball adorned with *' 6 bookes of gold leaf," 
no doubt called the congregation to a joyful service 
of dedication. 

The church and lot are credited with an expendi- 
ture of about $1,800. The carpenters work was 
done by Samuel Fuller and John Hall. The church 
had a gallery, and on ihe ground floor, 2 1 wall 
and 22 " Boddy " pews, and the carpenters agreed 
" to do the work on the Pulpit In the Same man- 
ner as In the English Church only it is to Jo)!! the 
wall So as to have no piller for a Soport & to make 
the Clark's Seat " 

Of the size and strength of the cong^regation 
there is no record until much later; but in 1 768 
they felt able to compete with their brethren in Al- 
bany; for a letter of Mr. Brown to Sir Wm. John- 
son at this time, in urging the necessity of securing 
Mr. Murray for St George's, says: " We are the 
more Anxiously Solicitous on this Head as the 
Presbyterians are busee to get Mr. Bay among 
them " — this Mr. Bay being called about this time 
to the Presbyterian Church at Albany. The first 
minister who is known to have preached to the con- 
gregation statedly is the Rev. Alexander Miller. 

Mr. Miller was a pupil of Rev. James Findley, a 
graduate of Princeton College, in 1 764 ; a student 
of theology under Dr. Rodgers, of NewYoik; was 
licensed 1767, and ordained by the Presbytery of 
New York 1 770, the date of his settlement here. 

He also preached at Curries Bush and Remsen's 
Bush in connection with his charge here, and 
taught a very respectable grammar school during 
the Revolutionary War, "in which Governor 
Tichenor of Vermont and others, since celebrated, 
acted as assistants. " 

During the war the church seems to have suf- 
fered greally. The congregation was in arrears for 
salary to Mr. Miller at the time his successor, Mr. 
John Young, was called, about the middle of 1787, 
and probably about six years after Mr. Miller closed 
his labors as pastor of the church. 

Mr. Young was ordained June 14, 1788, and 
gave one-third of his time to Currie's Bush, or 

Tho congregation at this lime, and for years 
later, was composed of elements which did not 
mix very kindly, formalism contending stubbornly 
against the growing evangelical spirit in the church, 
and Mr. Young was dismissed in consequence of 
the dissensions, non-payment of salary and ill 
health. The former pastor was still seeking payment 
of its indebtedness to him, and the church at Currie's 
Bush had applied to the Presbytery for two-thirds 
of Mr. Young's time, on the ground that the 
church in Schenectady was no longer able to sup- 
port him. 

From 1 79 1 to 1795, among those preaching here 
occasiqnally were Rev. Messrs. Baldwin, Chap- 
man, Coe, Cook, Davenport, Dod, Dun, Judd, 
McDonald, Pomeroy, Schenck, Thompson and 

With the election of the Rev. John B. Smith to 
the presidency of the college, a brighter day dawned 
for the church. Dr. Smith did much to reorganize 
the church, ordaining four elders in 1 795 or 1 796, 
viz.: Alexander Kelly, John Taylor, Alexander 
Walmsley and John McAt>Te. 

On the 13 th September, 1796, the Rev. Robert 
Smith, of Pennsylvania, a graduate of Princeton, was 
installed over the church, which at this time num- 
bered only ^j communicants. There were, how- 
ever, about 85 pew holders, and the income of the 
church from pews and subscriptions was a little 
over $700. 

Mr. Smith remained until July, 1801, when, the 
severity of the climate having impaired his health, 
he sought refuge in Savannah, Ga., dying soon after 

> t 


his removal. His life was sacriliced toliis xeal and 
affectioD for his people. Under his ministry the 
church received 5 1 additional members. The town- 
ship of Schenectady at this time contained about 
3,50a inhabitants, 685 being electors and 381 

During the illness of Mr. Smith the Rev. Mr. 
Adair and Dr. Jonathan Edwards. Jr., second 
president of the college, frequently supplied the 
pulpit, and as collections for 1801 show an increase 
over previous records, and additions lo ihe church 
are also recorded, the impetus given b)' Mr. Smith's 
pastorale would seem not to have been arrested. 

In March, 1803, three elders and seventy-three 
others petitioned Presbytery for the speedy install- 
ment of the Rev. William Clarkson; twenty peti- 
tioners, including two elders, however, pray that 
the installation may not take place. Mr. Clark- 
son's settlement was the signal for war among the 
discordant elements in the congregation, and 
shortly after such serious charges were preferred 
against him as that he did not " preach " but read 
sermons, "contrary to Luke 4 ; 16-13. where our 
Lord preached, said preaching being without 
notes." Mr. Clarkson was also charged with say- 
ing, " We never had such preaching here before ; 
we had nothing but like the reading of an alma- 
nack," and the Presbytery foiling to see the hcin- 
ousness of Mr. Clarkaon's homiletical shortcom- 
ings, a temporary secession of twenty-four families 
took place. Although considerable accessions to 
the church took place during Mr. Clarkson 's brief 
pastorate, his opponents claimed that the commu- 
nicants had diminished one-third. 

During this unhappy contention, in which Mr. 
Clarkson was rather the occasion than the cause 
of the quarrel, an election for elders had occurred, 
which seemed to intensify the strife, and in Sep- 
tember, 1803, Mr. Clarkson sought peace in de- 
parture. In the succeeding December the Rev, 
John B. Romeyn, a son of Dr. Romsyn of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church, and founder of Union Col- 
lege, wa-s selded over the church, at a salary o( 
$625. But the church was at strife, and in No- 
vember, 1804, Mr, RomejTi also left The num- 
ber of communicants at this lime could not have 
been much above a hundred; the highest rental 
for pews was but $35, and the support of the 
church and pastor in the midst of such difficulties 
was very doubtful and precarious. Mr. Nathaniel 
Todd, ordained December 1 1, 1805, was dismissed 
in the succeeding November, on the ground 
that the congregation were unable to support 

For some time Ihe church depended upon lem- 
porory suppliej, but, as if still further lo confuse 
and complicate matters, the ear of the congrega- 
tion was taken by an Irishman of the Methodist 
Church, a lay preacher, Mr. John Joyce. In spite 
of the peril of a threatened schism if Mr. Joyce 
were not settled over the church, Presbytery de- 
clined to intrust the church to his care, and de- 
clared it expedient for the session to resign, that 
new elders might in the interest of harmony be 
elected. The new session consisted of Messrs. 

Kelly, Walmsley, Daniel Chandler and Prof. Henry 
Davis, afterward President of Middlcbury, and slill 
later of Hamilton College. 

Notwithstanding its want of a pastor, and its in- 
ternal differences, the church does not seem to 
have lost any conRdence in itself, for on the 3d of 
July, 1809, the corner-stone of a new edifice was 
laid, the old building on the site of the chapel be- 
ing taken down, and the congregation worshiping 
for a time in tlie college chapel. 

We introduce here an impression of the old 
church seal, believing that it represents the form of 
the original church structure. 

No doubt a large part of the strength and im- 
pulse of Ihe new church movement came from the 
college. Dr. Notl.from his accession to the Presi- 
dency in 1804, had been a warm friend, and to his 
kindness, as well as that of Dr. McAuley and other 
members of the faculty, it was probably in large 
measure owing that the church came through its 
crisis with so little loss of strength. 

Meantime, the Rev. Alexander Monteilh had 
been called to the pastorate, and on August 29, 
1809, he was settled over the church, remaining 
its pastor until his death, January 29, 1815. Dur- 
ing his ministry there was an increase in its collec- 
tions, the communion roll was enlarged by 62 
additions, and the pastor's salary was advanced 
from $700 to $1,000. 

Mr. Monteilh's successor was the Rev. Hooper 
Cummings, whose cloiiucncc covered not a few of 
his own sins and other men'sserraons. Fxceniric and 
unfortunate, to speak mildly, Mr. Cummings' brief 
pastorate, judged by statistics, was most successful. 
Installed iid November, 181 5, and dismissed i8th 
February, 1817, sixty-five jwrsons were added to 
the communion roll, and work among the colored 
people prosecuted with vigor and success. Presby- 
tery having authorized Messrs. Wisner and Davis, 
then members of the church in Union College, to 
catechise and exhort among them. 

During Mr. Cummings' ministry, however, old 
strifes broke out again, and it was not till the 
8th of June, 1820, that another pastor could be 
secured, changes having occurred in the session, 
and some withdrawing from the church, which in 
the inter\*al enjoyed the services of Drs. Noll and 
McAuley, In April, 1820, the famous Mr. Net- 
tleton preached, and the church seems to have en- 
joyed spiritual prosperity, not less than mo being 
added to the church during the year. "Tokens" 
at the communion were still in use, not being dis- 
pensed witli till March, 1821, when members of 
other Etangelical churches were welcomed lo 
the Lord's table. The ''Token" was intended to 



prevent any unknown person or member under 
discipline from coming to the Lord's table. Tokens 
were distributed by the elders before communion 
to all who were in good standing, and were taken 
up by the elders again from the communicants at 
the Uble. They were made of lead, or pewter, 
were about an inch square, having inscriptions on 
each side, like these samples : 



• 1809- . 


I. COR : XI. 

Besides these changes, during Mr. (Walter) 
Monleith's pastorate (1820 to 1226), the old 
psalm book (Rouse) was relinquished, which 
indicates that a decided change was taking place 
in the sentiment of the church. In Mr. Monteith's 
time also the old ** Session House" was built by 
subscription, and not without much opposition 
from those who did not favor Sabbath-schools, 
prayer meetings and other ** new-fangled ideas." 
The Sunday-school had been started by Mr. Jona- 
than Crane, an elder in the church, in the base- 
ment kitchen of his own house, as a Mission Union 
School in 1817; but in 1824 it divided into two 
church schools, one Dutch, the other Presbyterian, 
which found a home in the Session House, though 
viewed with suspicion, if not with dislike, by many 
who regarded it as ** a school for outcasts." 

Mr. Monteith's successor was the Rev. Erskine 
Mason, a son of the celebrated Dr. John M. 
Mason, whom in intellectual strength he in no 
small degree resembled. A scholarly and finished 
preacher, the three years of his service here were 
years of strength and blessing to the church, which 
received during his brief pastorate an addition of 
89 members, 306 being the total number of com- 
municants reported to Presbytery in 1830. 

From July, 1830, until December, the church 
seems to have depended for service upon various 
ministers, when the Rev. Wm. Tames, a brilliant 
but somewhat eccentric preacher, became its 
'* Stated Supply," declining, however, in 1832, the 
call to become the pastor, and ceasing to preach 
in the spring of ihe same year, for the Rev. James 
W. Henry appears to have supplied the church in 
April and May. 

The day of rapid changes and shifting pastorates 
was soon to end, for the pulpit having been supplied 
by the Rev. Jonathan Trumbull Backus, May 27, 
1832, a call was extended to him, and on the 6th of 
December following he was ordained and installed 
over the church, remaining its pastor until the 1 8th 
of June, 1873. During all this long pastorate, 
under the blessing of God, the church steadily 
grew and strengthened ; old differences died out ; 
larger ideas of the privilege of Christian benevolence 
obtained ; more efficient methods of work were 
adopted, and the usefulness of the church greatly 
increased. During his ministry Dr. Backus re- 

ceived over 1,000 persons to the communion of 
the church and a new era of benevolence entered 
upon, the aggregate of the reported benevolence 
during this period being over $160,000. The 
church edifice was enlarged in 1834, and again in 
1859; and the old ''Session House" in 1843 
gave way to the chapel, to which was added in 1857 
the session room. This church was rebuilt and 
enlarged in 1884, and is a unique, beautiful, com- 
modious and convenient structure. During this 
century more than 60 of its members have entered 
the Christian ministry. 

The Rev. Timothy G. Darling, the present 
pastor, succeeded Rev. Dr. Backus, June 18, 
1873. For three years he had been assistant 
pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, 
Md. He was bom at Nassau, N. P., Bahamas, 
October 5, 1842 ; graduated from- Williams Col- 
lege in 1864 ; Union Theological Seminary in 
1869 ; and was Instructor of Metaphysics from 
1877 to 1880, in Union College. There has been 
a continuance of prosperity in the church under 
his pastorate. 


A little more than a hundred years ago an 
officer in the British army, listening to Mr. Wesley, 
in Bristol, England, was led to embrace Christ as 
his Saviour. Soon after he identified himself with 
the Methodists and became a co-laborer with Mr. 
Wesley, who licensed him as a local preacher. 

Not long after. Captain Thomas Webb was sent 
from England to New York State on military duty 
and stationed at Albany, where he continued to 
preach Christ to his fellow soldiers and to all whom 
he could gain access. 

About the beginning of the year 1767 he visited 
this city, and was probably the first Methodist 
preacher who came here. In a building standing, 
at that time, on the east side of Church street, near 
Union, used for bolting flour, this soldier of the 
cross preached the word with considerable success. 
It was strange and novel to see a military officer, 
arrayed in the habiliments of his office, with his 
sword by his side or lying on the table before him, 
assuming the functions of the sacred office. Many 
went to hear him out of mere curiosity. Some 
opened their hearts to the Saviour and were made 
happy in his love. Among the first converts were 
Nicholas Van Patten, Giles Brower, Rachael Bar- 
hydt, and the wife of Giles Van Vorst; also a 
colored man and woman who were slaves. The 
first converts were accustomed to meet together 
after the departure of Webb for religious services, 
but were much opposed by those who could not 
appreciate their feelings and were unaquainted with 
their religious enjoyments. Because of their 
peculiarly deep piety and zealous devotion they 
were called, in derision, "New Lights." 

The second Methodist preacher, as far as we 
can learn, was the famous George Whitfield, in the 
year 1 770, when he was making his last tour in 
America. Enthusiastic crowds, composed of all 
grades and conditions of society, flocked to hear 


him, but we have no positive knowledge as to the 
general effects of his preaching here. 

Benjamin Akin was the fiR.t local preacher resid- 
ing here. He began to preach in Januaty, 1807, 
in the house of Richard Clute, on Gieen street, 
and quite a number were soon converted, who were 
really the founders of the Methodist Society here. 

The conference year ending in May, 1S07, 
Andrew McKean, the preacher in charge of the 
Albany Circuit, occasionally visited this little band, 

and organized the same year the first Methodist 
Episcopal church in Schenectady. At the meet- 
ing of the conference in 1807, Scheneciady Circuit 
was formed, and Samutl Howe appointed to preach 
once in four weeks. Services were continued in 
Richard Clute's dwelling until autumn, when they 
were removed to a small house in Liberty street, 
where they were continued during the winter and 
following spring, quite a number being added 10 
the church, 


In the spring of 1808 Scth Cronell was ap- 
pointed to this place and preached in a building 
on State street, kindly furnished by its owner, 
Dorsey Joyce. Under his preaching the little llock 
"were edified and encouraged." In the following 
year two preachers were appointed to the Schenec- 
tady Circuit, which embraced the surrounding 
country, viz. : Truman Bishop and Datus En- 
sign. During this year a house of worship was 
erected and dedicated, and, though a rude struc- 
ture, was used by the society for twenty-sis years. 
It was situated on the northeast comer of Liberty 
and Canal streets, where the Canal now runs, ks, 
soon as inclosed, and before the walls were put on, 
and when the seals consisted merely of loose 
boards placed on blocks, it was occupied, and it 
remained in this condition for several years, when 
it was completed and rendered quite commodious. 
It was afterward removed to the northwest, to 
make way for die canal, and placed with its front 
on Union street, remaining here until this lot was 
needed for the railroad. 

In iSto the preachers appointed to this circuit 
were Isaac B. Smith and Hugh Armstrong. Mr. 
Armstrong was soon removed to another field, and 
Cyprian H. Gridley was sent to lake his place. 
The church flourished much under the labors of 
these two devout and godly men. They were suc- 
ceeded in t8n by Henry Stead and Samuel Mer- 

win, the former a practical, animated and useful 
preacher, the latter one of the able and efficient 
men of his times. Mr, Stead was returned the 
next year with John Finnegan, a sociable, agree- 
able but eccentric man, as his assi>ciate. 

Smith Arnold and John B. Matthias were ap- 
pointed in 1813. They were said to be, like 
Stephen, "full of faith and the Holy Ghost" 
They were followed the next spring by John Khne 
and Samuel Eighmey, men zealous and earnest in 
their Master's work. In 1815 three preachers were 
appointed to this circuit, E, P. Jacobs, EH Bart- 
lett and James Young. It is said that B. English 
preached here also about this time. 

Thus far in its history the society appears to 
have been quite feeble, and made great exertions 
to maintain its esistence. The men who served it 
endured great privations and hardships, "count- 
ing not their lives dear unto themselves," tliat 
they might win souls to Christ and nurture the 
flock to which ihey were appointed overaeers. 

In 1816 the society ceased to be connected with 
the circuit and became a station, under the pas- 
toral charge of Laban Clark. The number of 
membeis at this time was about fifty. Mr. Clark 
is said lo have been a man of gentlemanly bearing, 
courteous, affable, kind, and of a contemplative, 
serene and tranquil mind, and was highly es- 
teemed by all classes of citizens as a man 




and as a preacher. Under his administration 
Methodism arose in influence, and attained a 
much higher position than at any previous time. 
Two years afterward he was succeeded by William 
Thatcher. His two years' ministry marked an im- 
portant era in the history of the church. A 
powerful revival during his first winter extended its 
influence throughout the whole community, and 
added much material and spiritual strength to the 
church. The successor of Mr. Thatcher was Sam- 
uel Luckey, afterward Dr. Luckey, who was pas- 
tor in Rochester in i860. He commenced his 
labors here in 1820, and remained two years. 
Mr. Luckey was esteemed by all who knew him, 
and his influence gave special character to the 
church. He was succeeded by James M. Smith. 
Mr. Smith excelled as a doctrinal preacher, and his 
clear and skillful presentation of what the Metho- 
dists really believed, overcame much of the oppo- 
sition heretofore shown by those who considered 
their teachings unscriptural. The church pros- 
j)ered under his ministry. 

In the year 1824 Daniel Brayton was appointed 
to this charge, an excellent man and a good 
preacher. During his ministry the church suffered 
somewhat from adverse influences, but the band 
of believers were not disheartened. They trusted 
in God, pressed forward, and soon rejoiced in re- 
turning prosperity. 

George Coles assumed the pastoral care in 1826. 
He afterward became editor-in-chief of the Chris- 
Han Advocate and JournaL Mr. Coles was a 
preacher of ability and attractiveness. It is related 
that at one of his meetings, seeing one of his 
brothers in the congregation locked in uncon- 
scious slumbers, he suddenly paused in his dis- 
course and cried out, ** Brother G.! wake up, wake 
up! I have something important for you to hear." 
Brother G. 's slumbers were effectually broken for 
that occasion, and this incident made an impres- 
sion on his mind not easily obliterated. At the 
next prayer meeting he seemed to have a vivid 
recollection of it, and in his prayer he prayed fer- 
vently that the Lord would baptize the preacher 
and help him to preach so that his hearers would 
not go to sleep, to which prayer the preacher re- 
sponded with a loud amen, he, doubtless, feeling 
that it would require a supernatural influence to 
keep some hearers awake. 

Next in order came Buel Goodsell, who was ap- 
pointed in 1828. His influence was most salutary, 
effecting a very essential improvement in the char- 
acter of the charge. He did much to modify the 
extravagance which characterized the religious ex- 
ercises of some of its members; and he brought about 
a beneficial change in this regard, although he was 
violently opposed and accused of want of piety on 
his part 

Mr. Goodsell was succeeded by Coles Carpenter. 
Dr. Luckey said of him : ' * He was one of the most 
truly eloquent men I ever heard." The church 
was blessed under his faithful and eloquent ministry 
for two years, and he had the confidence and esteem 
of the community generally. He was followed by 
Salmon Stebbins in 1832. The prevalence of the 

cholera spread general gloom over the city this 
year. This turned the attention of many to the 
concerns of religion, and a goodly number were 
converted and united with the church. 

In 1833 James B. Houghtailing entered upon 
this field of pastoral labor, and remained two 
years. During this time the old church and lot were 
sold, arrangements made for building the edifice on 
Liberty street — now used for the Catholic Church 
— and the foundation laid with appropriate ceremo- 
nies. The superstructure was completed under 
the pastorate of Truman Seymour, who commenced 
his ministry in 1835. The dedication took place 
the next spring, Rev. John Kennedy, D.D., of 
New York, preaching the sermon. 

This same year the society was favored with the 
services of Noah Levings, the odor of whose name 
is like ointment poured forth. The church mem- 
bership at this lime was one hundred and ninety- 
five, and over one hundred were added during his 
two years' labor. Union College conferred upon 
him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He was 
followed in 1838 by Epharim Goss, whose labors 
were attended by an extensive revival. Stephen 
Remington was the next pastor, for two years, and 
was succeeded by John Harwood, a mighty man in 

The next pastor was Andrew Witherspoon, afler- 
ward Dr. Witherspoon, an able minister, who built 
up the church in sound doctrine and piety. James 
Rawson was appointed in 1845. A goodly num- 
ber were converted during the ministry of this re- 
fined and cultured preacher. His administration 
was followed by that of John Frazer, for two years, 
when Allen Steel became the incumbent, a popular 
preacher who drew large congregations. In the 
spring of 1850, Barnes M. Hall was appointed 
preacher. He was a strong preacher, of dignified 
bearing, and commanded universal respect About 
seventy were added to the membership during his 
two years* connection with the church. In 1852 
the pastoral oversight was given to Henry L. Starks, 
a faithful preacher and pastor, who was followed in 
1854 by Merritt Bates, during whose term the 
church edifice was considerably repaired. In the 
spring of 1856, J. K. Cheesman was transferred 
from the Genesee Conference and appointed to 
this charge. He succeeded in removing the heavy 
debt which had greatly embarrassed the church for 
many years, and received into the church more than 
a hundred probationers. He was succeeded by 
Samuel McKean, son of Andrew McKean, the 
preacher in charge of the Albany Circuit, in 1807. 
In the spring of i860 Henry L. Starks was reap- 
pointed to the pastorate, as was also J. K. Chees- 
man in 1862. In 1864 Andrew J. Jutkins assumed 
the pastorate, remaining three years, the ministerial 
term being extended one year. His ministry 
largely increased the permanent congregations, and 
presented to the society the necessity of building 
a larger edifice. Mr. Jutkins succeeded in raising 
subscriptions to the amount of $8,000 for this pur- 
pose. During his term the pastors salary was 
raised from $1,000 to $1,200. Frederick Widmer, 
appointed in 1867, maintained all the interests of 



the church, and elevated the cause of Methodism. 
Rev. Joel Eaton was appointed in 1869, and re- 
mained three years, and was very efl&cient in aiding 
the church building enterprise. The site had been 
purchased on the corner of State and Lafayette 
streets for $6,000. The foundation of the build- 
ing was laid in the summer of 18 70, and the corner- 
stone in June, 1871, the Rev. Samuel Mere- 
dith, Presiding Elder of the Albany District, deliv- 
ering the address, Rev. Dr. Backus, of the Presby- 
tery Church, offering the prayer. The church walls 
were erected and the buildtng enclosed during this 
year. The chapel was completed, dedicated and 
occupied for public services in December, 1872. 
Daniel W. Gates succeeded in the pastorate. During 
his term the old church edifice was sold to the St. 
John's Catholic Church for $10,000, the old bell 
being reserved, and the main edifice of the new 
church finished and dedicated in March, 1874. 
The Rev. Ira G. Bid well, D.D., of Boston, Mass., 
preached the sermon, and the Rev. B. I. Ives, 
of Auburn, N. Y. , managed the finances. The 
church, with its furnishings, cost about $85,000, and 
the remaining debt of $30,000 was fully pledged 
on this occasion. 

George J. Brown was, by request, appointed 
pastor in 1875, ^^^ sustained a successful and af- 
fectionate ministry for two years. He was succeeded 
by William J. Heath, for three years. All the in- 
terests of the church were maintained, and a large 
number of valuable members added. William H. 
Hughes followed him with wise and successful 
management, especially with respect to finances. 
He was a good and able preacher, and affectionate 
and zealous in the conduct of society meetings, 
and faithfully served all the interests of the church, 
one hundred and fifty probationers uniting during 
his three years' incumbency. 

The present incumbent, George A. Barrett, as- 
sumed the pastorate in 1883, and has well and 
faithfully sustained all the responsible duties of the 

The present full membership is 620, and 30 pro- 


Fifty years ago, when the population of the city of 
Schenectady was about 4,000, the religious wants 
of the people were administered to by four churches 
— the First Reformed Dutch, St. George's Episco- 
pal, the First Presbyterian and the Methodist. 

Some time about the beginning of October, 182 1, 
a number of Baptist brethren residing in the com- 
munity agreed to meet on Wednesday evenings 
for the purpose of prayer and Christian conference. 
In the beginning of 1822 they were encouraged to 
institute Sabbath-day meetings. Soon after they 
began to hope that a church might be established 
here, and at a meeting held the 9th of October, 
1822, a paper was drawn up stating that it was the 
belief of the subscribers that a Baptist church here 
would be profitable to Zion, and expressive of their 
wishes to be constituted into a church. At a meet- 
ing held November 8th, it was voted that a council 

be called to organize a church. The council met 
November 21, 1822, the following churches being 
represented by their delegates: Churches at Clifton 
Park, Waterford, Burnt Hills, Florida, Duanes- 
burgh, First of Albany and the Colored Church. 

The following ministers took part: Abijah Peck, 
John Lamb, Lewis Leonard, Mr. Paul, Joseph 
Cornell, J. Olmstead, Mr. St. John and Egenia 
Kincade, afterward the distinguished missionary. 
The council unanimously advised the brethren to 
organize a church, which was done, and it was duly 
recognized by the council as the First Baptist 
Church, Schenectady, N. Y. The sermon was 
preached by Rev. Mr. St. John. Rev. Joseph Cornell 
made the prayer and gave the right hand of fellow- 
ship to the church. Twelve brethren and twenty- 
four sisters com prised the thirty-six original members, 
principally from the Baptist Church in Clifton Park. 
Meetings were held for some time in private houses, 
afterward in a building on the southeast corner of 
Church and State streets, also in a school building 
on Church one door north of State street, and in 
the Court House in the building now occupied by 
Union School, where they continued until the base- 
ment of the church edifice was ready for use. The 
church, though for some time without a pastor, 
grew considerably, for in June, 1823, it reported to 
the Shaftsbury Association forty-five members. In 
August of this year. Rev. Nathan N. Whitney, a 
pastor of a Dutch Church in this vicinity, having 
been led by prayerful study to embrace Baptist 
views, offered himself to the church for member- 
ship and was baptized by Elder Peck, of Clifton 
Park, in the presence of many members of his 
former charge. Invited to take the oversight of 
the church, he was ordained as its pastor October 
22, 1823. This year Lewis Cheeseman was licensed 
to preach the gospel by the church. On the 17th 
of April, 1824, the church secured a lot for a 
** burying ground." The records this year report 
a membership of seventy-one. This same year the 
Sunday-school was organized. In 1825 the Rev. 
John Cooper was called to the pastorate at a salary 
of $150; the lot where the old church stood in 
Center street was purchased for $150, and the 
foundation of the edifice laid in the fall, though the 
building was not occupied by the society until 1828. 
The following December, Rev. Richmond Taggart 
was called and entered upon his pastorate at the 
beginning of 1830, and continued until May, 1831, 
when, because of the inability of the church to 
support him, he resigned. At this time the church 
was much discouraged, because of their inability 
to provide for the payment of a pressing debt upon 
the ** Meeting House," and were also unable to 
provide for preaching. Abram D. Gillette supplied 
the pulpit for three months during the summer, and 
was ordained as its pastor September 28th, and the 
church entered upon a season of prosperity that 
continued during the ministry of this esteemed 
brother. In 1832 the church was dismissed from 
the Shaftsbury Association and united with the 
Hudson River Association. This same year side 
galleries were put in the '* Meeting House," and in 
1834 it was enlarged to double its former capacity; 



seven young men were in various colleges prepar- 
ing for the ministry, and its membership reached 

On the 20th of May, 1835, Rev. J. M. Graves 
was called to the pastorate, and resigned, after 
some difficulty, in 1836. The debt on the church 
was $2,400. In October, 1836, Rev. Philander D. 
Gillette commenced his labors as pastor. The 
church w^as blessed with a revival, which added 42 
to its membership. Elder Gillette closed his 
labors in March, 1838. 

While the church was without a pastor, there 
occurred one of the most powerful revivals of re- 
ligion with which Schenectady was ever favored. 
Elder Jacob Knapp commenced holding protracted 
meetings about the ist of June, 1838, which con- 
tinued far into the summer. He preached his 
first sermon in the Baptist Church, which was soon 
found to be too small, and on invitation of the 
Presbyterians the services were afterward held in 
their house of worship. So great did the religious 
interest become, that stores were closed and the 
citizens generally attended the meetings. The 
weather being warm in the evening, the voice of 
prayer was heard from the dwellings of the people 
throughout all parts of the city. This church being 
without a pastor, the larger part of the converts 
joined the other churches. Rev. Dr. Backus, 
then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, says 
of this revival: ** Elder Knapp's preaching was 
apparently very effective in awakening the people 
to serious thoughts. * * * * It was a season 
of blessing, and the labor of the evangelist is held 
in grateful remembrance." In October the Rev. 
Conant Sawyer began his pastorate, and remained 
until July, 1840. During this period the church 
enjoyed great prosperity, the membership reaching 

In June, 1840, nine brethren and twenty-two 
sisters were di^issed, to constitute a new church 
in the village of Scotia. The church was without 
a pastor for some little time, when Mr. Leroy was 
called and ordained as pastor, December i, 1841. 
In 1840 a powerful revival of religion was enjoyed, 
the pastor being assisted by Elder Kingsley. 

The Rev. Wm. Arthur (father of President 
Arthur) was called August 4> 1844, and remained 
until Septcmt)er, 1 846, notwithstanding the church 
at this time, by the removal of some of its wealthier 
members, was feeling heavily the burden of its in- 
debtedness, and was hardly able to give a pastor an 
adequate support. 

At the beginning of the year 1847 ^^ present 
incumbent. Rev. Horace G. Day, accepted the 
duties of the pastorale. The church was then en- 
vironed with many difliculties. His ordination 
took place on the 25th of May. At this lime the 
debts of the church exceeded the value of its entire 
property. Their meeting-house was undesirably 
located, because of its proximity to the railroad. 
There was a long-pending litigation with the rail- 
road for damages to the church property from the 
disturbance of religious services by the ringing of 
bells and the blowing of steam whistles on the 
Sabbath. In 1849 the membership was reduced 

to 163 by removals and excisions. From this 
time began to dawn a brighter condition. In 
1848 the house of worship in Center street was dis- 
posed of, and the meetings were held in the Young 
Men's Association Hall in the Van Horn building, 
where they continued within a few months of the 
completion of the Lecture Room of the present 
church edifice. In the 'meantime meetings were 
held in private houses and also in the old 
Cameronian Church building in Center street, now 
occupied by Carley Brothers as a flour and feed store. 
Such was the burden of indebtedness at this time 
that some favored disbanding the church and re- 
organizing as a new society as the readiest way of 
freeing themselves from debt, but the majority re- 
fused to repudiate. The claims against the so- 
ciety were finally settled in an honorable manner, 
through the liberality of creditors and individual 
citizens, and the church proceeded to effect meas- 
ures for the building of a house of worship. The 
Lecture Room was formally opened January 23, 
1883, the pastor preaching the opening sermon, 
and Rev. Dr. Hickok, of Union College, preaching 
in the afternoon. From this lime forward the 
church grew steadily for some years. For the first 
time in many years, at the close of 1855 the 
church was out of debt and money in its treas- 
ury. The main church edifice was finished in 
1856, and dedicated the same year. President 
Nott, of Union College, making the dedicatory 
prayer. The cost of the edifice and lot was about 

With the year 1858 commenced one of the most 
powerful revivals with which the church has been 
favored. Special re\dval services were held until 
the 23d of April, and the revival continued in con- 
nection with the regular services of the church far 
into the summer, adding to the membership of 
the church 127. Among the converts were about 
40 young men. The Rev. David Heagle and the 
Rev. Norman Fox, Jr. , both of them at that time 
licentiates, were the efficient helpers of the pastor. 
The baptistry was put into the church this year, 
and used for the first time March 7th. In the sum- 
mer of 1870 the house of worship was thoroughly 
repaired, frescoed and refurnished, at a cost of 
about $4,000. 

During six weeks, services were held in Union 
Hall. Revivals have been characteristic of this 
church, and it has been signally honored in 
being permitted to license many candidates for the 
ministry who have been successful preachers of the 
Gospel. Among them we mention Rev. Geo. W. 
Eaton, late President of Madison University; 
Emerson Andrews, the evangelist; S. B. Willis, 
Alanson Baley, J. S. Webber, D. D. Gregory, H. 
F. Cochrane, David Heagle, Everett R. Sawyer. 
In 1856 the church ordained Henry L. Simpson, a 
colored brother, who was said to be the first of his 
race to take a full course of study at Madison 
University. In 1866 it ordained Abril Parmater 
to serve as chaplain in the army. The total num- 
ber of persons received into the church is 1,048 by 
baptism and 562 by letters. The present mem- 
bership is 297. 





The Second Reformed Church was organized in 
October, 1851. The importance and necessity of 
a Second Reformed Dutch Church had been felt and 
discussed by members of the First Church for sev- 
eral years prior to 185 1. At one time a subscrip- 
tion was started and $4,000 was subscribed to start 
the enterprise, but nothing was done. At^a meet- 
ing of the consistory of the Reformed Dutch Church 
held in December, 1850, it was resolved to call a 
meeting of the great consistory to consider the pro- 
priety of organizing a new Reformed Dutch Church 
in the city. Two meetings of the great consistory 
were held and the subject of a new church thor- 
oughly discussed, and with only one dissenting 
voice it was 

^'Resolved, That a Second Reformed Dutch 
Church in this city is both expedient and necessary. " 

A committee was appointed to raise $500 to 
make the experiment Though nothing was im- 
mediately accomplished, the idea was not abandoned, 
and in July, 185 1, it was decided to call a public 
meeting of all those favorable to the object The 
meeting was held in the lecture room of the First 
Reformed Dutch Church; a large number were pres- 
ent A communication from Rev. Wm. J. R. Tay- 
lor, pastor of the First Church, was read, in favor of 
the project, and outlining a plan. It was made the 
basis of action. In the communication referred to, 
the Rev. Taylor says: '*The action of the great 
consistory last winter has settled the question of the 
expediency and necessity of the new Reformed 
Dutch Church. This is a point gained." '* What 
creates the necessity ? " '* The want of room in the 
churches for the people of the city. " * ' There are 300 
families in First Reformed Dutch Church and only 
150 pews; many of these are occupied by two fami- 
lies and at great inconvenience. We have lost val- 
uable families on this account" Further it says: 
"Something must be done. Begin a prayer meet- 
ing and a Sabbath-school immediately. Arrange 
for a temporary place of worship. Get the pastor 
on the ground and go to work as soon as possible. " 
After the reading of the pastor's letter, measures 
were adopted to carry out his ideas. A prayer 
meeting was held, a Sabbath-school organized in 
the public school-house on White street At the 
meeting of Classis in September a petition was pre- 
sented, signed by twenty-nine heads of families, ask- 
ing for the organization of the new church. The 
request was granted, arrangements made for the or- 
ganization, supplies for the pulpit arranged until 
next meeting of the Classis in April. 

The first consistory was elected October 30, 1851, 
and the church organized with 14 members, 11 
from the First Reformed Dutch Church, 2 from the 
Reformed Dutch Church of Cohoes, and one from 
the Presbyterian Church of Schenectady. On the 
1 6th of November, 1851, the services of organiza- 
tion were held in the First Reformed Dutch Church. 
The sermon was preached by the Rev. Wm. J. R. 
Taylor, pastor of the church. An address to the 
new church was delivered by Rev. Goyne Talmage, 

of Niskayuna. November 23, 1851, the first serv- 
ice was held in the old Cameronian church on 
Center street Rev. N. D. Williamson, of Scotia, 

November 16, 1852, Rev. I. G. Duryea was 
installed pastor of the church. In 1854 the lot for 
the church was purchased, and immediately the 
work of raising funds to build a church was begun. 
July 4, 1855, the comer-stone of the present 
church was laid; in September, 1856, it was com- 
pleted. The church prospered greatly under Mr. 
Duryea's pastorate until the spring of 1858, when 
his health failed and he took a brief vacation, the 
church agreeing to supply the pulpit in his absence. 
The Rev. Artemus Dean was engaged as a supply. 
Many of the members preferred his preaching to that 
of Mr. Duryea, and began to organize a large fol- 
lowing favorable to the dismission of the pastor and 
the calling of Mr. Dean. Mr. Duryea returned in 
August. A majority of the consistory favored his 
resignation. He was prevailed upon to offer 
it, which, after much ill feeling in the congregation, 
was accepted. Then an effort was made to settle 
Mr. Dean as pastor; this was opposed by some 
and Classis rejected the call. The Dean party, 
having a majority in the consistory and possession 
of the church, finally declared themselves independ- 
ent of Classis, and proceeded to install Mr. Dean 
and change the organization to a Congregational 
church. This was done in 1859. 

Those who remained loyal to the Reformed Dutch 
Church began a suit for possession of the church. 
The case was tried before the late Judge Ira Har- 
ris, of Albany, as referee; the late Judge Paige 
counsel for the loyal party, and the late William 
A. Beach counsel for the Dean party. The case 
was not concluded until September, 1861, when 
Judge Harris decided that the Dean party had no 
right to the church, but must yield the property 
up to the loyal party. 

In July, 1862, Rev. A. DuBois, D. D., was set- 
tled as pastor. In 1866 the large debt against the 
church was paid off. In 1868 the chapel was 
erected. Rev. DuBois resigned in September, 1869. 
February, 1870, Rev. Wm. H. Phraner was settled 
as pastor. The membership under Mr. DuBois 
had increased from 60 to 113. Under Mr. Phraners 
care the membership increased to 200. Mr. Phra- 
ner's health failed in 1870, and he resigned the 

In the fall of 1875 the church made a call of Rev. 
H. H. Northrop. The Classis refused to accept 
Mr. Northrop. A large portion of the congrega- 
tion, who were in favor of Mr. Northrop, left the 
church on account of the action of Classis. The 
church was badly broken up, but soon rallied again, 
so as to continue the Sabbath-school and ordmary 
church services. In June, 187^, Rev. T. N. Crocker 
was called, and served the church faithfully until May, 
1878, although he was never installed. The church 
prospered greatly under his care. In September, 
1878, Rev. E. C. Lawrence was installed as pastor. 
He resigned September i, 1880. Rev. Peter E. 
Kipp, the present pastor, was settled in April, 188 1. 
The church has greatly prospered under his pas- 



torate, the membership at present being 290. The 
church is centrally located ; has a good, convenient 
lecture room adjoining ; a good house for a par- 
sonage, the gift of the late Rev. A. J. Swits, 
within a few rods of the church. Its success has 
proved the wisdom and foresight of the Rev. Wm. I. 
R. Taylor and the men of the First Reformed Dutch 
Church, who so earnestly labored to establish the 
second church of the denomination in this ancient 

P. E. Kipp was bom in Paterson, N. J., in 1847, 
and graduated from the New York University in 
1867, and New Brunswick Theological Seminary 
in 1870. He was located in Fishkill from 1870 
to 1874; Brooklyn, 1876 to 1880; and became 
pastor of the Second Reformed Dutch Church, 
Schenectady, in 188 1. 


This church was the outgrowth of a Sunday- 
school Mission, started by a few Christian ladies of 
Sl Georges Episc.opal Church about 1865. 

It was first incorporated as Christ Church, Sep- 
tember 23, 1867. The corner-stone of a wooden 
edifice, much smaller than the present building, 
was laid during this year by Rev. Dr. Payne, rector 
of St George's, assisted by Rt Rev. D. Randell, 
Bishop of Colorado. This church was first opened 
for services March i, 1868. The first rector was 
Rev. F. C. Wainright, who remained till the year 
1 87 1, when he was succeeded, April i of that year, 
by Rev. Lucius N. Voigt 

During Mr. Voigt's pastorate the vestry room 
was enlarged 11 by 8 feet, and the number of 
communicants increased from 18 to 91. The 
value of the church property was estimated at 

Mr. Voigt resigned June i, 1874, and for one 
year from this date the church was without a n gu- 
lar rector. Dr. Lowell, of Union College, officiated 
during this interval. Rev. John M. Rogers was 
elected to the vacant rectorship June i, 1875. 
Under his administration the church began to 
flourish, and in 1876 the building was enlarged to 
its present size. The vestry room was increased to 
double its former seating capacity ; a new chancel, 
12 by 14 feet, was built, a steeple erected, the 
grounds improved, and the entire church decorated 
and improved, at a cost of nearly $1,800. 

Mr. Rogers resigned August 10, 1880, and was 
succeeded a few months later by Rev. J. Lewis 
Parks, who continued as rector till his resignation 
in June, 1883. 

The present rector, Rev. Eugene L. Toy, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Parks in August, 1883. Under Mr. 
Toy's ministrations the church has continued to 
increase in numbers and in influence. 

There are at present 151 communicants, an 
increase of 17 over preceding year. There is a 
Sunday-school connected with the church of 171 
pupils and 20 teachers. 

The size of the main body of the church is 22 
by 55 feet; the number of seats 180, furnishing 
seating capacity for about 500 persons. The value 

of the church property is estimated at $10,500, 
upon which there is a mortgage of $6, 200. 

The present officers of the church are the fol- 
lowing : Wardens, James E. Curtis and David 
Guy ; Vestrymen, Samuel T. Benedict, William N. 
Butler, H. C. Van Zandt, M. D., John K. Elwin, 
E. E. Kreigsman, William W. Craig, David O. 
Youlen and Prof. Sidney G. Ashmore. 


Rev. Father Theodore Noethen, from Albany, 
and other secular priests, visited the German 
Catholics of the city before any organization was 
made, and held services for them in St John's 
Church. On January 23, 1859, about 75 members 
met in Gottfried Blum's marble shop and resolved 
to build a church, which should be called St 
Peter's Church. At the head of this movement 
stood Gottfried Blum and Xavier Zeiser as presi- 
dents, Peter Baldus, Mathias Treis and Peter 
Selzingcr as trustees, Franz Tele as secretary, 
Julius Meyers as treasurer. At another meeting, 
on the 6th of February, in Meyer's molder shop, 
Fonda street, Peter and Karl Baldus, Jacob Gar- 
ling and Jacob Stener were chosen collectors, to 
take up a house collection. February 20th the 
large lot comer of State and Albany streets, where 
now the Arsenal stands, was purchased from Mr. 
Ramsay, for $2,000 — $100 paid down, the rest to 
be paid within fi\Q years. Quarrels and lack of 
money afterward made them lose this splendid 
location. After many fruitless attempts to get a 
church, the generous Bavarian, Joseph Harreker, 
bought on sheriff's sale the old Cameronian frame 
church, on Center street, for $2,000, in his own 
name. To this was built a new sanctuary, for 
$300. This church, named after its founder and 
benefactor, St. Joseph's Church, was dedicated the 
29th of June, 1862, by the Rev. Alphonse Zoeller, 
O. M. C. , of Utica. The Franciscan Fathers, from 
Utica, as Revs. Leopold, Oderic, Alphonse, Pius 
and others, held regular services in the new church. 
Father Oderic bought the cemetery on East avenue 
for $300. Father Pius bought the small brick 
house on Franklin street, west of St John's Church, 
for $1,300, for the Sisters of St Francis, who taught 
the children in a frame school-house built north of 
the church. After that. Fathers Leopold and Pius, 
who was the first residing pastor, bought the east 
corner lot of Albany and Lafayette streets, with 
brick house for parsonage, from John McEucroe, 
for $4,750. 

At the end of October, 1868, the Franciscan 
Fathers were called away, and Rev. Maurus 
Ramssauer, from Manlius Station, near Syracuse, 
was made pastor. Soon afterward the Franciscan 
Sisters were succeeded by a secular teacher. The 
double house north of the church on Center street 
was bought for $3, 500. The church incorporated 
April 16. 1869. At the end of April, 1876, Father 
Maurus resigned and went back to Manlius Station. 
His successor was Rev. J. Henry Cluever, D. D. , 
from Deerfield Corners, near Utica. Through his 
energetic eflforts the present beautiful church was 



built. The comer-stone was laid Sunday after- 
noon, July 29, 1877, by Rev. Thomas Burke, of 
St Joseph's, Albany, N. Y., with imposing cere- 
monies; the church was dedicated March 3, 1878, 
by Right Rev. Bishop P'rancis McNeirny, of Albany. 

Architect, M. J. Cummings, of Troy, N. Y. ; 
builder, Jacob Van Zandt, of Schenectady, N. Y. 
Cost, without furnaces, organ and altars, $27,286. 

December 14, 1881, Bishop McNeirny conse- 
crated the new marble side altars. 

In August, 1882, the double lot, with house, west 
of the old cemetery was bought for $1,900, and 
added to the old insufficient burial place. 

December 8, 1883, Rev. J. Herman Wibbe, from 
Sl Peter's Church, Oswego, N. Y., succeeded Dr. 
Cluever, who took charge of St. Mary's Help of 
Christians, in Albany, N. Y. 

In March, 1884, the new gothic high altar, built 
by Joseph Stoppelkamp, of St. Louis, Mo., for 
$1,200, without statues, was put up, and new 
stations, donated by some members of the parish, 
at a cost of $370, erected on the evening of Good 
Friday, the nth of April, 1884. 

Sunday afternoon, October 19, 1884, Bishop 
McNeirny solemnly blessed three new bells, bought 
from Clinton H. Meneely, Troy, N. Y. , for $1, 105.- 
72 ; the smallest, weighing 508 pounds, called 
**St. Jacobus," donated by Mr. Jacob Garling; 
the second, ** Joseph Franciscus," weighing 1,023 
pounds, donated by Sl Joseph and St Franciscus 
Aid Societies; the largest (1,993 pounds), *'St 
Maria, " donated by members of the parish. The 
bells were first swung on the eve of All Saints Day 
(October 31st). 

In the fall of 1884, the wooden annex of the 
Sisters' house was torn down and a large brick 
school-house erected, connecting the old school- 
house with the Sisters' house, and adding a new 
story to the latter, bringing the whole under one 
metal roof. The work was done by Mike Deckel- 
meyer for $3,647, without the steam boiler. The 
school is in charge of five Sisters of St Joseph, and 
is attended by over 200 children. The congrega- 
tion has grown to over 400 families. With the 
church are connected ^\^ religious societies, with 
large membership, and a social club of the young 
men of the parish, the ** Schenectady Eintradit," 
who meet twice a week in the basement of the 


This church was organized October 24, 1849, 
with the following members: August and P^lizabeth 
Schweneker, Henry and Maria Strueme, Christian 
and Sophia Kasten, Frederick and Justine Danno- 

The first church was erected on Jay street, on the 
site of the present Congregational Church, May, 
1850, at a cost of $1,500. 

The first pastor was I. I. Grau, under 
pastorage the church grew in membership and in- 

Following is a list of pastors in the order of 
their ministration over this church : I. I. (iraii, A. 
Schwartz, Sebastian Mickel, I. I. (irau, Jacob 

Kindler, Henry Kastendirck, Casper Jost, Francis 
G. Graty, Christian Blinn, John Sauter, Christian F. 
Grimm, John C. Deininger, Casper Jost, George 
Abele, Paul Quattlander, Henry Kastendicck and 
F. H. Ray. 

The present church on the corner of Union and 
Lafayette streets was erected in 1872. It is 53 x 82 
feet, and has a seating capacity of 800 persons. 

This church is in a most prosperous and healthy 
condition, with a full membership of 388, and 65 
probationers. The average congregation numbers 
between 500 and 600. The Sunday-school con- 
nected with this church numbers 400 children, with 
an average attendance of 300. 

The value of the church property, consisting of 
the church edifice and a {>arsonage on Park place, 
is estimated at $38,000, against which there is a 
debt of but $6,000. 



On Tuesday evening, October 25, 1866, the first 
prayer meeting of this society was held. Dr. Backus, 
of the First Church, presiding. About fifteen per- 
sons were in attendance. 

The meetings in the course of a few weeks be- 
came so largely attended, that the private house in 
which they were held was overcrowded. Accord- 
ingly the young men engaged in the work, with 
commendable enterprise rented a small dwelling 
in the vicinity and, having removed the partitions, 
fitted it up as a place or worship. This building was 
first used December 23, 1866, and from that date 
meetings were held there on Thursday and Sabbath 
evenings during the winter and following summer. 
A Sabbath-school was organized December 15th 
with five scholars. The second Sabbath it num- 
bered twenty-one scholars and six teachers. Feb- 
ruary 3, 1867, an infant class was organized. The 
attendance upon the school and prayer meeting in- 
creased so greatly during the winter that the build- 
ing was again found too small for the accommoda- 
tion of those who came, and again the laborers 
recognized the finger of Providence j)ointing them 
forward. The idea of building a chapel was talked 
about, and funds were sought after and obtained, 
chiefly among the members of Dr. Backus' congre- 
gation, and the work was commenced July 23, 1877. 
October loth the chapel was finished, and was 
soon dedicated, with appropriate services; Rev. Dr. 
Backus, Rev. Dr. Hickok and Rev. John Clancy 
ofliciating. The work continued to prosper, and 
through the influence of the Sabbath-school and 
prayer meeting, a number of persons were con- 
verted and united with the city churches. The 
Sunday-school, at present, is the largest and most 
eflicient in the city. 

During the winter a Sahhalh evening preaching 
service Wiis kept up regularly. In the spring of 
1869 those who had been interested in the work 
from the beginning ihoiight that circumstances war- 
ranted ihein in asking for a separate organization. 
The propohilion was accepted by the pastor and 
p«ropli' of ihr I'ir»t C 'liurch, to whose cordial sympa- 
thy and <o operation the success of the undertak- 



ing had been largely due. Accordingly sixteen 
persons were dismissed from the mother church, 
April I, 1869, to form the new society. The fol- 
lowing Sabbath, April 4th, after the sermon by Rev. 
Dr. Backus, from Heb. 13:17, the church was or- 
ganized. From this time the pulpit was regularly 
supplied, morning and evening, by various minis- 
ters. The first stated supply was George Alexan- 
der, a licentiate of the U. P. Presbytery of Albany 
and a student of Princeton Seminary, who preached 
during the months of July and August. At a meet- 
ing of the congregation, August 4th, he was elected 
and called to the pastoral charge. Having accepted 
the call, he was ordained and installed January 20, 
1870, and dismissed by Presbytery in 1884. 

The church edifice is located on Upper State 
street. It is built of brick, with a Gothic roof, and 
has a seating capacity of 600. The present pastor, 
J. D. Paxton, has served since 1884. 



The Evangelical Congregational Church, Sche- 
nectady, N. Y. , was unanimously recognized by a 
council of Congregational churches and pastors, 
April 24, 1877, convened by invitation of the pas- 
tor, officers and members of the Free Evangelical 
Church, an independent religious organization that 
had been holding religious ser\'ices in Union Hall 
for sixteen months previous, under the ministra- 
tions of Rev. Henry H. Northrop. 

The council was composed of the following pas- 
tors and delegates of these churches: Albany, 
Gloversville, Oswego, Syracuse, Middletown, Har- 
lem, Homer, N. Y. ; the Rev. J. C. Holbrook, 
D. D., secretary of theN. Y. S. Home Missionary 
Society; Rev. James G. Cordell ; also Rev. H. G. 
Day, of the Baptist Church of Schenectady. 

The public services took place in the evening of 
the same day in Union Hall, when the Moderator, 
Rev. J. C. Holbrook, D. D., officially recognized 
the church, welcoming it to the fellowship of the 
Congregational churches. An address on the Princi- 
ples of Congregationalism was made by Rev. Jona- 
than Crane, of Middletown, N. Y. A sermon was 
preached by Rev. W. S. Smart, D. D., of Albany, 
and an address delivered by Rev. Samuel H. Virgin, 
pastor of Pilgrim Church, Harlem, N. Y. 

The church continued to hold its public services 
in Union Hall and prayer meetings in the German 
M. E. Chapel, on Jay street Rev. H. H. Northrop 
continued with the church until March, 1879, when 
he was regularly dismissed by council. 

Rev. John H. Munsell was called to and accepted 
the pastorate in April, 1879. It soon became evi- 
dent that Union Hall was not a suitable place to 
hold Sabbath services, and the same fall they were 
removed to the chapel on Jay street, in which the 
prayer meetings were held. I^rge congregations 
were accustomed to attend the services in the pub- 
lic hall, not more than half of which followed the 
church into the chapel to worship there. Soon 
after a revival of religion greatly blessed and en- 
couraged the church, largely increasing its mem- 
bership. The capacity of the chapel was soon 

found to be too small to accommodate those who 
desired to worship with the church, and in 
the spring of 1880 active measures were insti- 
tuted to secure a larger place of worship and a per- 
manent church home, and the lot and buildings 
comprising the chapel and the adjoining dwelling 
house — now the church parsonage — were pur- 
chased and immediate measures taken to erect a 
suitable church edifice. After two years of patient 
toil, constant prayer, and unusual sacrifice, the 
church was permitted to dedicate its present beau- 
tiful edifice on Jay street, April 5, 1882, the Rev. 
Wm. M. Taylor, D. D., pastor of Broadway Tab- 
ernacle, New York, preaching the sermon. 

The following year the adjoining chapel was 
erected. This church, with its accompaniments, 
is one of the most attractive and convenient church 
buildings in the city. 

The church has steadily grown, comprising now 
330 church members. Its Sunday-school numbers 
more than 300. 


This church was organized in 1881 by a num- 
ber of the former members of the First Baptist 
Church. At this time the members of the congre- 
gation had no church edifice, and used Union 
Hall in which to hold religious services. The first 
regular pastor was John C. Breaker, who became 
pastor April 10, 1882. In 1883 a lot on Nott 
terrace was purchased, and the present church 
edifice erected, at a cost of about $3,500. Mr. 
Breaker remained as pastor of this church until 
October, 1884, when he resigned his charge. The 
congregation remained without a regular supply 
until June 17, 1885, when the present pastor, 
George M. Muller, accepted the pastorate. This 
congregation is composed of about 130 members, 
and is in a healthy financial condition. 


This congregation was organized in 1856. At 
this time the store a few doors from State street on 
Ferry street was purchased for $1,400, and is still 
used in which to conduct religious services. The 
officers of the Synagogue are president, vice-presi- 
dent, three trustees, treasurer and secretary. The 
first President was Alexander Susholz, who was 
succeeded by the present officer, Jonathan Susholz. 
The remaining officers are Jacob Henry, Vice-Pres- 
ident; Phieffer Levi, Treasurer; S. Susholz, Secre- 
tary; Henry Heilbronner, S. Stems and L. Behr, 

This congregation consists of 38 members, and 
is known by the corporate name Shara Schoma- 
jim. The present Rabbi is Rev. Rudolph Farber. 


The first Roman Catholic congregation was or- 
ganized in this city in 1880 with less than 20 j)er- 
sons. At this time a small frame building near 
the Mohawk bridge on Washington avenue was 
neatly fitted up and used for church services. The 
congregation had no regular rector, but was occa- 
sionally attended by Rev. Charles Smith, of St. 



Mary's Church, Albany. The building on Wash- 
ington avenue continued to be used as a church 
until October 13, 1839, when the present com- 
modious edifice on Franklin street was conse- 
crated. Rev. John Kelly, who succeeded Rev. 
Charles Smith, was the first regular rector in- 
stalled over this church. He was succeeded in 
1838 by Rev. Patrick McCloskey. Then followed 
in succession Revs. Daniel Falvey, McGeough, M. 
E. Clark, and J. M. Scully, who was installed in 
1875. In 1873 ^^ building formerly used by the 
Methodist congregation on Liberty street, adjoin- 
ing the rear of St. John's Church, was purchased 
by the latter church, and has since been converted 
into a convent 

The present rectory on Liberty street was built 
in 1876. 

The property of this church is centrally located, 
and one of the most valuable belonging to any re- 
ligious denomination in the city. A few years 
ago a tract of land containing over twenty acres, 
on the upper end of State street, was purchased by 
this church, and is now used as a cemetery. The 
total number of persons connected with St. John's 
Church will probably exceed 2, 500. 

St. John's Convent. — May 22, 1865, the build- 
ing opposite to St John's Church, on Franklin 
street, was first opened as a convent, under the 
direct patronage of the church, and presided over 
by Mother Alphonsus and Sister Mary Montcar- 
mel, who were reinforced the following months by 
Sisters Ann Michael and Mary Lucy. At the 
convent and the small school-house adjoining the 
church, the children of the congregation were 
taught the common English branches of study by 
the Mother Superior and Sisters. 

But the number of scholars so increased year by 
year, that in 1880 the old Methodist Church on 
Liberty street, purchased in 1873, was converted 
into a convent This large edifice has been most 
conveniently arranged for the purpose of a school 
and convent, and meets the needs of this rapidly 
growing congregation. At the new convent more 
than 460 scholars are instructed in the common 
English branches of study. This school is supported 
entirely by the church, and is under the charge of 
Mother Superior Augustine, assisted by five Sisters. 

A private school for instruction in the higher 
branches of study is conducted at the convent, 
where French, music (vocal and instrumental), 
drawing, painting and embroidery are taught This 
department of the school is attended by both 
Protestants and Catholics, and is supported by 
tuition fees. The instruction received at the con- 
vent is considered as most careful, thorough and 
complete, and ranks high in the educational in- 
terests of Schenectady. 


This church was organized in 1870. In 1872 
the present church edifice was purchased from the 
Congregational Church for $3, 500, since which 
many improvements have been made on the church 
property. The first pastor was G. H. Brandan. 

He was followed by Michael Wolf, Emil Schneider 
and Henry Homrighaus. The present pastor is 
Louis Schultze. This congregation is composed 
of 95 members, and is in a prosperous and flour- 
ishing condition. 


The German church on College street, called 
**The Temple Gemeinde," is a branch of the Ger- 
man Temple Society, organized in Germany about 
1854, by Rev. Dr. C. Hoffman, which aims at the 
advancement of the work of Christ and final 
establishment of the kingdom of God on earth as 
it is in heaven. The only source of revelation to 
the members of the Society is exclusively the Bible, 
without ecclesiastical traditions and human doc- 
trines, as far as they are in contradiction to the will 
of God as interpreted by the members of this 
Society. Concerning the Temple Gemeinde, we 
will give an extract of its history : 

The congregation was organized in May, 1854, 
by the Rev. W. Wolf, and incorporated according 
to the law of the State of New York, under the 
long and inconvenient name, * * Third Evangelical 
Protestant Reformed Dutch Church." At the end 
of the same year the present pastor, the Rev. W. 
F. Schwilk, took charge of the school and congre- 
gation, which increased remarkably in number. 
In 1856 they bought the so-called old Lancaster 
school and converted it into a chapel. A school- 
room was added in the rear of the building, and 
afterward used as a dwelling for the sexton and his 
family. As the little flock steadily increased, it was 
found necessary to erect a larger and more com- 
modious house of worship — the same which stands 
a few rods farther from the old one, toward Green 
street, and which was dedicated in the presence of 
a highly interested assembly on September i, 1867. 

At the beginning of 1867, Mr. Schwilk started 
the first German newspaper in the city, Die Reichs 
Posaune, a religious, political and social semi- 
monthly, and continued it as editor and manager 
fully seven years, when he was obliged (on account 
of ill health) to suspend the paper. At the close 
of the year 1867 the congregation withdrew from 
the Classis of Schenectady, and declared itself, for 
various reasons, ecclesiastically free and inde- 
pendent of the General Synod of the Reformed 
Dutch Church ; yet its officers and members 
retained their first legal name, and endeavored to 
make it a living name by being Protestants, not 
only by birth, but also by conviction. Thus they 
made themselves worthy of a new name. In the 
meantime they felt the necessity of changing it 
more and more, and recently, at a special meeting 
of the pastor, elders and deacons, they resolved 
unanimously to drop the old name altogether and 
adopt a new and better one — **The Temple" — 
which expresses plainly and distinctly its common 
faith. They authorized their pastor to take all the 
legal steps necessary to that effect. 

This name was legalized and took effect Decem- 
ber 25, 1884. The Temple Gemeinde is composed 
ol 200 members, with a Sunday-school numbering 



80 scholars. The church property is valued at 
over $8,000, and is free of debt Rev. W. F. 
Schwilk, who has been pastor of this church more 
than thirty years, is a highly educated and accom- 
plished gentleman, deeply interested in religious 
matters, and to his intelligent, conscientious work 
can be attributed the present prosperity of this 


The Ladies' Benevolent Society, an organiza- 
tion which has accomplished great good in this 
community, was established about 181 3. 

In this society at this early date were many 
ladies of the first families of the city. In a book 
of minutes of this period appears the names of 
Mrs. James Duane, ^Irs. Stebbins, Mrs. A. Yates, 
Mrs. Dr. Fonda, Mrs. Simon Groot, Mrs. Dr. 
Mynderse and Mrs. John Constable. In 181 7 
thirty-five sick and distressed women and 128 
helpless children were assisted, necessitating the 
expenditure of more than $600. 

The primary objects of the society were to afford 
assistance to indigent women and children, 
although no cases of deserving charily were ne- 

The oflficers consisted of a first and second di- 
rectress, treasurer, secretary, and a board of mana- 
gers. The contribution of a certain sum to the 
funds of the society constituted the person so con- 
tributing a member, with equal privileges in man- 
aging ihe affairs. The board of managers appoint- 
ed a certain number of ladies in each ward, in 
prescribed districts, who were expected not only 
to solicit funds, clothing or provisions for carrying 
on the work, but to make personal visits to the 
homes of all persons in these districts who might 
be in indigent circumstances, and report all cases 
of deserving charity to the board of managers, in 
which case the members of the board of managers 
were expected to afford relief. In many cases 
sick women and children were removed from their 
wretched homes to suitable quarters in private 
houses, the society paying for their board. It was 
this branch of the good work which ultimately 
grew to such proportions that the need of a build- 
ing especially adapted to this purpose became a 

The aims and plan of work of this society have 
not undergone much change since it was organized, 
and it will not be necessary to go into much detail 
concerning the work accomplished. 

In 1 864 this society was reorganized, and many 
of the members of that date are still active workers 
in this society. Among the members might be 
honorably mentioned the names of Mrs. Dr. Nott 
and Mrs. Jonas H. Crane, two of the oldest living 
members, who for more than a quarter of a century- 
have been earnest workers in the cause of this 
society. Among others who are equally entitled to 
praise, both in the past and present, are the follow- 
ing ladies : Mrs. Anna Myers, Mrs. Mark Scher- 
win, Miss Rebecca Duane, Mrs. Dr. A. M. Vedder, 
Mrs. James Walker, Mrs. Judge Mitchel, Mrs. 

Maria Barhydt, Mrs. Charles Angle, Mrs. Theodore 
Brown, Mrs. Aaron Freeman, Mrs Elizabeth Wal- 
ters, Mrs. Elizabeth De Wigne, Mrs. John C. Ellis, 
Mrs. D. Cady Smith, Mrs. Richard Franchot, Mrs. 
Andrew McMullen. 

Home of the Friendless. — The present com- 
fortable and commodious building on Green 
street, known as the Home of the Friendless, was 
the result of the labors of the Ladies' Benevolent 

In 1868 the Ladies' Home of the Friendless So- 
ciety was organized, mainly composed of the 
members of the Benevolent Society. At this time, 
although without a dollar in the treasury, and trust- 
ing entirely upon the generosity of the citizens to 
aid ihem, the ladies decided to purchase the 
building, No. 35 Green street, now owned by the 

But legal difficulies confronted them, from the 
fact that they were not a corporate body. At this 
opportune time Dr. A. M. Vedder, Max Schwin, 
T. W. McCamus, Austin M. Ketchum, David 
Murray, Charles H. Mathews, Samuel W. Jack- 
son, D. Cady Smith, Andrew Truax, Horace G. 
Day and Lewis C. Barhydt, under the provisions 
of a legislative act of 1 848 relative to the incorpora- 
tion of charitable institutions, associated them- 
selves together and became a corporate body, 
August 4, 1868, under the corporate name of 
the Home of the Friendless of the City of 

The following gentlemen were named as the 
first trustees: J. Trumbull Backus, Charles H. 
Mathews, Alexander M. Vedder, D. Cady Smith, 
Andrew Truax, Horace G. Day and Lewis C. 

These trustees were given the entire charge 
and suj)ervision of the funds, proj)erty and 
affairs of the association. They were at first 
divided into three classes, two who were elected 
for one year, two for two years and three for 
three years; but in 1881 the term of all the 
trustees was extended to three years, although the 
three classes remained the same, and the term of 
not more than three trustees expires during any 
one year. 

The trustees elect a president, secretary and a 
treasurer ; the latter officer cannot be a trustee. 
At the present time an executive committee of 
three is appointed by the President from the list of 
trustees for one year, to whom is given the general 
charge of all funds, property and affairs of the 
society, to audit all bills and to invest funds. 
The trustees are elected by ballot the first Tues- 
day in September of each year. Every person 
who* shall donate the sum of five dollars to the 
funds of the society, regardless of sex, is entitled 
to one vote, and an additional vote for every five 
dollars donated. 

The first trustees immediately purchased the 
dwelling, No. 35 Green street, of George G. Soley, 
for the sum of $3,000, paying about $2,000 in 
cash, raised by subscription; the balance remain- 
ing a mortgage upon the property. This property 
was thus given over to the management of the 


Ladies' Society of the Home of the Friendless, and 
was first opened September 9, 1868. 

The real management of the Home, the collec- 
tion of funds, and Ihe care and supervision of ihe 
inmates, devolve solely upon the ladies of the 
society. The oBicere consist of first and second 
directresses, treasurer and secretary, an exccuiive 
committee and a board ofmanagers. The trustees 
act as an advisory committee. The first officers 
were: Mrs. Urania Nott, First Directress; Mrs. 
Cordelia Crane, Second Directress; Mrs. Mary A. 
Myers, Secretary; Mrs. Anna Angle, Treasurer. 

The subscription fee of annual members is 
$5; of life members, $25; of life members and 
benefactors, $100. 

The entire interna] charge of the Home is under 
the direct supervision of a matron, who is em- 
ployed by the Board. This position has been 
most creditably filled by Mrs. Marj' Perkins ever 
since the Home was established. 

Smce the establishment of the Home, it has 
been used exclusively for the support of indigent 
sick or aged women. But it is Uie intention of 
the members, as soon as sufi[icient funds can be 
obtained, to so extend the facilities of the institu- 
tion as to be able lo support a juvenile depart- 
ment, when children without homes, too young lo 
provide for themselves, can be maintained. 

From the report of the secretary made at the 
end of the first year of the Home, we find that 
eight aged and infirm ladies had been the recipients 
of the comforts of this institution. The total 
receipts this year were $1,945.40, and total ex- 
penditures $1,327.85. 

In September, 1873, the present building ad- 
joining No. 35 Green street, used as the Home, 
was purchased of Mr. Frame for $5,000. 

In 1878, mainiy through the efforts of the 
trustees, a debt of over $3,000 was liquidated by 
public subscription. Dr. Andrew Truax, who had 
been an enthu.siastic friend of the Home since its 
organi?.aiion, gave $i,(XO of this sum. 

During iate years, the Home, by the death of 
a number of its early friends and benefactors, 
has been the recipient of generous donations. 
Among the legacies thus bequeathed were $5,000 
from Dr. A. M. Vedder, $6,000 from Colon 
C. Clme. and $zo,ooo from Dr. Andrew Truax. 
In 1869 the True Blues, a civic organization 
in Schenectady, donated the sum of $1,000, the 
proceeds of a fair held for the purpose of aiding 
this institution. 

At the present time the Home is in a llourisli- 
ing condition. Its property, valued as $10,000, is 
free from debt, and it receives the proceeds of 
$33,500 invested for its use. 

The work accomplished by this institution of 
charity has been of the most commendable nature. 
Its average yearly expenses have been about 
$i,zoo, while an average number of eight poor, 
enfeebled, deserving women have received the 
comforts of a Christian home. 

In 1883 an addiliiin of a hospitable nx)m was 

made to the Home at a cost of $700, which 

s raised by public subscription. 

In the year 1858 the first VoungMen'sChrislian 
As.sociation was organized in Schenectady. The 
first officers of the Society were : Prof. John New- 
President : George F. Bollis, \' ice- President; 
C!harles S. Vedder, Corresponding Secretary ; 
William F. Fox, Recording Secretary; and James 
J. Marlette, Treasurer. The Hoard of Directors 
consisted of Joseph B. Graham, David Herron, 
Jr., David J. Tichenor, Charles N. Yates. A. Craig 
Palmer, Charles Brockmyer, Daniel A. Atwell, 
Samuel Lyon, William DeOraff, Rembrandt P. 
Wilkie and Abraham Van Vranken. The plan of 
work and object of the association, as defined by 
the constitution of this date, were similar to that 
followed by like associations throughout the State, 
and not materially different from the aims and pur- 
pose of the present association. The society 
secured rooms on the second floor of the Clute 
building on Slate street, now used as a dental 
office by John F. Hull, 


Young Men's Chi 


Here the members of the association labored for 
a number of years, with comparatively limited 
means and resources, for the beneficent objects of 
the association. But either through lack of proper 
support, through imperfect organii^tion, or the 
usual period of excitement during the late civil 
war, the work was abandoned some time in 1863, 
and nothing was done lo perfect a reorganization 
until 1867. During this year, by the exertion of a 
few of the public-spirited citizens of Schenectady, a 
renewed interest was awakened in the work o( this 
kind of organization, as exhibited in parts of the 
Slate, and a new association was formed and a 
more perfect constitution adopted. The officers 
elected under the new organization were as follows: 
Nicholas Cain, President ; C. C. Brown and M. A. 
Vedder, Vice-Presidents ; E. A. Charlton, Corre- 
sponding Secretary; George O. Seaver. Recording 
Secretary; John Brown, Treasurer; and I- Hoyt, 
Librarian. Directors: Andrew T. Veeder. Jacob 
Vrooman, Louis Feldman, Richard Farley, C. W. 




Backus, D. D. C. Teller, John A. Do Remer, 
Edward S. Sauter and E. W. Moore. At this 
period the association had rooms in Van Home's 
Hall, No. 1 5 1 State street. Here a free reading- 
room, furnished with the leading daily and weekly 
papers, magazines and various periodicals, was pro- 
vided. A library of over 300 volumes was also 
procured this year. 

In 1 87 1 application was made to the Legisla- 
ture for a new charter and for the incorporation of 
the association. This was granted, and the follow- 
ing citizens of Schenectady were a board of 
trustees, to hold in trust the property of the associa- 
tion : J. Trumbull Backus, Piatt Potter, E. H. 
Wheeler, Simon C. Groot, Andrew Truax, Peter 
Rowe, Abram Doty, H. S. Edwards, C. C. Clute, 
N. I. Schermerhorn, Levi A. Young, H. S. Bar- 
ney, T. W. McCamus, Nicholas Cain, Robert Fur- 
man, G. G. Maxon, C. H. Mathews and Edward 
W. Paige. This act of incorporation provided 
that one- third of these trustees should be annually 
elected after March, 1872. During the year 
1 87 1, mainly through the efforts of Nicholas Cain, 
then president of the association, and a few others 
equally interested in the welfare of the organiza- 
tion, the project long contemplated by the 
friends of the association — the erection of a per- 
manent edifice — began to take definite form. In 
October of this year the lot where the Association 
building now stands was purchased for the sum of 
$12,000, the entire amount being raised in a few 
days by subscription. At this time the task of 
raising money to erect a building upon this site 
was begun by the officers of the organization. The 
following are some of the principal donors at this 
time : Nicholas Cain, $3,000 ; J. Trumbull 
Backus, $2,000; Charles H. Mathews, $1,500; 
Peter Rowe, $1,000; Piatt Potter, $1,000; Abram 
Doty, $1,000; L. A. Young, $1,000; T. W. 
McCamus, $1,000; Robert Furman, $1,000; 
Andrew Truax, $1,000 ; N. I. Schermerhorn, 
$1,000 ; C. C. Clute, $1,000 ; H. S. Edwards, 
$1,000; E. H. Wheeler, $1,000; H. S. Barney, 
$i,ooo ; Simon C. Groot, $1,000. Considerable 
money was also raised in smaller amounts. 

In 1873 the present building began to be 
erected. Its exterior was completed in 187 — . At 
this time, the association lacking necessary funds, 
work was suspended. From 1873 to 1877 seems 
to have been a dark period in the history of the 
Young Men's Christian Association in this city. 

Some time in 1874-5 the room in the Van 
Home Hall was abandoned, and no regular place 
of meeting seems to have been provided until 
1877, when, mainly through the efforts of General 
Secretary O. C. Morse, who came to Schenectady 
under the direction of the New York State Execu- 
tive Committee of the Young Men's Christian 
Association, Stanford Hall was rented for a period 
of three months. Here the association library was 
removed and a free reading-room provided. 

In March, 1877, the work of completing and 
furnishing four rooms in the new building was 
undertaken by the different churches, the First 
Reformed Church furnishing one, the First 

Presbyterian Church another, the Baptist a third, 
and the Episcopal Church the fourth. On the 
15th of the following May the association took 
possession of its new rooms, and the new building 
was first used for the purpose for which it was 
erected. Since this date numerous improvements 
have been made in the Association building, al- 
though it is not yet entirely completed. Over 
$40,000 has been expended on it, and the associ- 
ation is at present $19,000 in debt. The lower 
part of the building is occupied by the crockery 
store of S. R. James, the second floor by the 
association, and the third floor by law offices. 
For a number of years a coffee or refreshment 
room has been in the unfinished part of the build- 
ing, which has enjoyed a liberal share of patronage. 

The present officers of the association are: James 
A. Goodrich, President; Marcus C. Wood, Vice- 
President; Frank E. Smith, Recording Secretary; 
James Cantine, Treasurer ; William F. Cromer, 
Acting Secretary. The financial affairs of the 
Y. M. C. A. are controlled by a Board of Man- 
agers, consisting of twenty members. 

The reading-room and library has been re- 
cently much improved. Many daily papers and 
most of the leading periodicals are furnished, while 
the library has increased to nearly two thousand 
volumes of choice and selected books. The Y. M. 
C. A. building, as shown in the cut, is one of the 
finest public edifices in the city. 

ST. gborge's lodge, no. 6. 

St George's Lodge was founded previous to the 
American Revolution by dispensation from the 
Grand Lodge of England, and went into operation 
in 1 774, under the auspices of Sir John Johnson, 
then Provincial Grand Master of the Colony of 
New York. The first dispensation under which 
the lodge was organized has been lost; but a second 
one, granted by the same authority, is still pre- 
served as a relic in the archives of the lodge. It 
was given at Fort Johnson, December 13, 1774, 
and bears the bold signature of Sir John Johnson. 
By this instrument, Christopher Yates was ap- 
pointed Master; Benjamin Hilton, Jr., Senior 
Warden; and John Henghan, Junior Warden. 

The book of minutes of the lodge as above consti- 
tuted, but extending from a time even previous to this 
dispensation, is still preserved. From this it appears 
that in addition to the officers mentioned, the lodge 
had but four members, viz. : Cornelius Van Dyck, 
Aaron Van Patten, Robert Clinch and Robert Alex- 
ander. The first initiation of which there is any 
account is that of Teunise Swart, which was speed- 
ily followed by others, until when this record closes, 
December 30, 1 799, more than one hundred and 
twenty names had been added to the roll of mem- 

From the book of minutes, it appears that the 
first meetings of the lodge were held at the house of 
Robert Clinch, afterward in the dwellings of 
Abram Truax and John A. Bradt April 16, 1790, 
the lodge purchased a building and lot of Dr. Nich- 



olas Van Der Volgen on the south side of State 
street, where the Central Railroad now passes, and 
after properly arranging a room for the use of the 
lodge, surrendered the remaining part to Andrew 
Rynex, as Tiler, by whom the dwelling was there- 
after occupied. In January, 1797, the growing 
numbers of the lodge rendered this place too small, 
and it was considerably enlarged by building. In 
the same year a Mark Lodge was established, to 
which the use of the lodge room was freely per- 

At this time there were in Schenectady three 
flourishing lodges and a Royal Arch Chapter. 
They were named respectively, St George's I^dge, 
Clinton Lodge and Morton Lodge. St George's 
Lodge has alone survived. Cyrus Royal Arch 
Chapter, No. 57, which existed about this period, 
has also been disbanded, but in its place has been 
organized the Mohawk (now St George's Royal 
Arch Chapter, No. 157), which now numbers many 

The record of the proceedings of the early his- 
tory of St George's Lodge is full of interest, illus- 
trating the character of the men and times of the 
most interesting period of our country's history. 
Among the members of the lodge were many who 
became active in the war of the revolution, and 
whose names have been frequently mentioned in this 
volume as connected with the stirring events of 
this period. 

The following, taken from the book of minutes, 
is full of significance, and is one of many having 
reference to the active participation of the members 
of this lodge in the scenes of the revolution : 

** At the regular communication, December 26, 
1780, it was unanimously 

''Resolved, That fifly shillings, hard money, out 
of the funds of this lodge, shall be delivered into 
the hands of Brother Robert Alexander, for the use 
of Brother Walter Voorman's family, who is now 
captive with the enemy, and the same amount be 
paid into the hands of John Cummins, for the use 
of Brother Andrew Rynex *s family, who is also taken 
captive. " 

The last record contained in this venerable min- 
ute book is especially interesting. It is as follows: 

** Whereas, The death of our Worthy Grand 
Master, George Washington, was this evening an- 
nounced to this lodge ; therefore, unanimously 

^^ Resolved, That the members of this lodge wear 
(as a token of respect to the memory of our said 
late Grand Master) a black ribbon in the button- 
hole of the waistcoat, until the ensuing Festival of 
St John the Baptist, and that the Secretary be 
directed to give notice of the foregoing resolution 
to such members as did not attend this meeting. 

**Jkllis a. Fonda, 

''W. Master." 

Thus appropriately closes this valuable record of 
the last meeting of the last year of the last century. 

The minutes of the lodge are preserved in full 
until the close of the year 1 804, when there seems 
to have been a disagreement between a large num- 
ber of the lodges in the interior and those in the 

city of New York and its vicinity, which resulted 
in a disruption of the ties between them. In 
common with the lodges with which it had sided in 
the questions in dispute, which seem to have been 
little more than ** Where shall the meetings of the 
Grand Lodge be held — in New York or Albany?" 
St George's Lodge was declared by the Grand 
Lodge to have forfeited **its Masonic privileges," 
and its members were expelled from the order. 

From this time the records are imperfect, until 
1822, when the lodge was formally reinstated to 
full Masonic standing, and anew charter granted to 
Henry Yates as Worshipful Master; Samuel Fams- 
worth. Senior Warden; and John McMichael, 
Junior Warden. This charter bore the signature 
of Daniel D. Tompkins, then Vice-President of the 
United States, as Grand Master. 

From this time to 1834 the records, and even 
the charter of 1822, are lost, and it would seem 
that the meetings were either entirely intermitted 
or but seldom held. This period was that dark one 
in the history of Masonry in America which fol- 
lowed the Morgan excitement, when most of the 
lodges in the State were broken up and the order 

From 1834, however, complete sets of the 
minutes are preserved, from which it appears that 
a dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge, 
bearing date January 5, 1844, and that on the 
eighth day of June, 1844, a new charter was 
granted, naming Giles F. Yates as Worshipful Mas- 
ter; Roswell Perry, Senior Warden; and Jonathan 
C. Burnham, Junior Warden. Under this charter St 
George's Lodge now works, and is to-day in a very 
prosperous and flourishing condition. In 1868 
the temple on Church street was erected, making 
one of the finest and most complete Masonic build- 
ings in the State. 

Officers for 1885. — Bro. T. Low Barhydt, 
Master ; Bro. John S. White, S. Warden ; Bro. P. 
M. Doty, J. Warden ; W. Bro. W. Scott Hunter, 
Treasurer; Bro. Thompson Dealtry, Secretary; Bro. 
Charles E. Palmer, S. Deacon ; Bro. Frank Will- 
iamson, J. Deacon ; Bro. Rev. E. L. Toy, Chap- 
lain ; R. W. Bro. John Keyes Paige, Organist ; 
Bro. Charles Hausmer, Physician ; Bro. (J. A. 
Wendell, S. M. of Cer. ; Bro. E. King, J. M. of 
Cer. ; Bros. J. Teller Schoolcraft and John S. 
Swits, Stewards ; Bro. S. Abrams, Tiler ; G. G. 
Maxon, S. W. Jackson and John M. Wendell, 

New Hope Lodge, No. 730. — New Hope Lodge 
was founded November 30, 1872. For a number 
of years meetings of this lodge were held in Van 
Home's Hall, on State street ; recent years, Odd- 
fellows Hall, in the F-llis building, on State street, 
has been used for that purpose. 

Officers for 1875. — ^W. Bro. Charles Baum, 
Master ; H. M. Stanton, S. Warden ; W. C. 
Campbell, J. Warden ; W. H. Helmer, Treasurer ; 
James L Foote, Secretary ; W. P. Daley, S. 
Deacon ; Wm. J. Rosekranz, J. Deacon ; D. W, 
Walpole, S. M. of Cer, ; Simon Schermerhom, J. 
M, of Cer.; G. E. McDonald, M. D., Physician ; 


Fred, Reaber, Marshal ; E. E. Kreigsman, R. T. 
Butler and D. Allen, Finance Committee ; R. T. 
Butler, Tiler. 

St. George's Chapteb, No. 157, R. A. M., was 
installed in 1856. Officers for 1885 : M. E. Comp. 
John H. White, High Priest ; W. Scott Hunter, K. 
King ; T. Low Barhydt, E. Scribe ; W. H. Peck- 
ham, Treasurer ; W. G. Helmer, Secretary. 

St. George's Cohmanderv, No, 37, K. T., was 
instituted 1866, Officers for 1885 : E. Sir W. 
H. Helmer, Commander ; George Buskerk, Gen- 
eralissimo ; John H. White, Captain -General ; F. 
Williamson, Prelate ; Geo. Weller, S. Warden ; 
John J. Penwick, J. Warden ; H. H. Swart, 
I'rcasurer ; W. H. Peckham, Recorder. 


The earliest trace of united temperance work 
in Schenectady is that of the State Temper- ■ 
ance Society, organized in 1828 by E. C. Dela^-an 
and Dr. Eli phalet Noll. July 8, 1830, an auxiliary 
society, the "Schenectady City Society for the 
Promotion of Temperance," was formed. The 
pledge did not cover the use of malt liquors, but 
"distilled spirituous liquors, except as a medicine 
in case of bodily infirmity." The officers were: 
President, Peter I. Quie; Secretary, James Ma- 
goffin; Treasurer, Joel C. Bailey; Directors, Jon- 
athan Crane, George McQueen, Jabez Ward anti I 
Obed Chandler. The Reverends E. Mason (Pres- 
byterian), Coles Carpenter (M. E. ), Jacob Van | 
Vechten (First Reformed), and Mr. Gillett (Bap- 
tist), and Dr. Nott and Mr. Detavan, were also 
members. By 183a, through the efforts of Mr. | 
Crane and others, 27 auxiliary societies (which in- > 
eluded one colored) had been formed. Union 
College also organized one at this time. During j 
the year last named the city society had a mem- | 
beiship of 1,013 males, 421 females. Lectures ] 
were occasionally delivered by Prof. Alonzo Pot- 
ter, Dr. Noit, Reverends Stebbins, Gillett, Van 
Vechten and Hon. A. L Linn, and Messrs. Pol- 
lard and Wright, of Baltimore, John B. Gough, and 
Judge McCJueen. Dr. Fonda and Dr. Nott were 
the last survivors of this organization. lis efforts 
practically ceased in 1846. 

The Washingtonian movement gained a foothold 
and flourished for a few years during the existence 
of the city society. 

From 1847 to 1867 but little public work wa.s 
done, but in the latter year ihe "Sons of Temper- 
ance " instituted a division, which is now extinct 
In 1868 the Good Templars organized their first 
lodge here, which did good work until 1880, when 
it too became practically lifeless. 

The Independent Order of Rechabites never 
gained a foothold here. The Father Mathew 
movement of 1850, which was originated by the 
Catholics, succeeded in gaining many converts. 

In September, 1876, the "Schenectady Tem- 
perance Society" was formed, with the following 
officers; President, J. Charles Lawton; Vice-Presi- 
dent, Dr. L. Faust; Secretary, Heniy Swan; Treas- 
urer, Peter Chrisler. Articles for the press were 

written by Prof Wells, of Union College; ProC 
Halsey, Classical Institute; Revs. W. J. Heath 
and Northorp and Mr. Chrisler. October 19th a 
Reform Club was organized, and the 31st of the 
month was merged with the "Schenectady Tem- 
perance Sociei)'," and these changed to the "An- 
cient City Temperance Society." 

In June, 1880, I'eler Chrisler was successful in 
having the official board of the M. E. Church 
adopt a resolution discontinuing the use of fer- 
mented or alcoholic wine at the communion, and 
during the same year he organized the " M. E. 
Church Temperance Society." 

July 11, 1878, internal dissensions in the "An- 
cient City" order resulted in a new society, taking 
the old name, "Schenectady Temperance Society, 
with Mr. Chrisler as President 

October3i, 1878, the two societies united, under 
the name of "Christian Temperance Union," with 
Jethro W. Chute as President 

The "Women's Christian Temperance Union" 
was organized in March, 1878, Mrs. Dr. Nott, 
President, and in July the "Childfen's Temper- 
ance Society " was instituted, all the societies 
meeting in the same room. 

January 29, 1880, a new departure was taken 
by the society. Good Templarism ideas were fol- 
lowed, and "Ancient City Lodge, 174," formed. 
No organization since 1830 or 1867 has been so 
successful. In March, 1884, there were 1,130 
members, making it the banner lodge of the Stale. 
At the County Lodge, held April i, 1885, it re- 
ported 895 members. 


The subject of this sketch was bom in Guilder- 
land, Albany County, N. V., May 18, 1808. He 
spent the first six years of his life in the vicinity 
of his birthplace, after which his parents removed 
to Albany. At this early age he entered the first 
Lancaster School in the United States, then recent- 
ly opened in Albany by William Anderson Tweed 
Dale, under the personal supervision of Joseph 
Lancaster, the founder of the system. 

In 1823, with three others, he was promoted to 
the Albany Academy, a high mark of honor con- 
ferred on pupils of the Lancaster School who had 
shown themselves specially meritorious in behav- 
ior and scholarship, and which entitled them to a 
free course of instruction at the Academy. Young 
Ramsay rapidly advanced in his studies, and by 
orderly conduct and close attention gained ihe 
esteem and confidence of the Faculty and Trustees, 
who, as a signal mark of favor, informed him, after 
a term of two years, ihat he could remain as long 
as he pleased, free of tuition. But the painful ne- 
cessity of depending for support upon the daily 
labor of an aged father, constrained the youth to 
leave the Academy in 1826. 

He immediately became an assistant teacher in 
the Lancaster 5ichooI, under his former instructor, 
Mr. Dale. In this position he remained nearly a 
year, performing his work most satisfactorily to the 
management of the school and its patrons. But 


the care and labor proved too severe for mind and 
body, and he was obliged to seek rest and recrea- 
tion in the country. Becoming sufficiently recu- 
perated, the following year he accepted the charge 
of a school in Glenville, Schenectady County, and 
the same year he returned to Albany and ac- 
cepted the appointment of book-keeper in French 
Webster's hardware store, located on the site of 
the present post-office. 

This position did not meet the ambidon of the 
young man, and he determined to seek future 
advancement in the great city of New York. 
Here he arrived in 1829, without money and with- 
out friends, not knowing a single person to whom , 
he might apply for aid and assistance. He en- I 
cotintered all the discouragements and difficulties ' 
so many deserving young men similarly placed 
have experienced in securing employment in the 
metropolis. For a short lime Benjamin C. Wat- 
son gave shelter and assistance to our young friend, 
and secured for him a position as clerk in the land < 

office of Isaac M, WooUey, at ibe small salary ol 
$10 per month and board. 

While a student at the Albany Academy, young 
Ramsay became very proficient in penmanship and 
map-drawing, and gained valuable knowledge of 
the art of surveying. These various accomplish- 
ments served him most advantageously while in the 
employ of Mr. Woolley, who was quick to utilize 
the talents of his young clerk in drawing and 
copying maps as needed in the transaction of the 
business of his office. So well did young Ram- 
say execute this work, that maps drawn by him and 
exhibited in the real estate sale-rooms of the old 
Merchants' Exchange attracted general attention 
for their exceUence. Among those who were at- 
tracted by ilie ability of Mr. Woolley's clerk, were 
JohnC. Morrison, Dr. Van Soligen and Mr. Parker, 
author of " Parker's Arithmetic," who induced 
young Ramsay to open an office, under promise of 
immediate patronage. Accordingly in 1830 he 
opened an office in an attic bedroom in Greenwich 



street His ability soon gained for him the friend- 
ship and patronage of influential citizens. Phi- 
lologus Holley, who proved a most valuable friend 
at this period, in return for such services as he 
could render him, gave him office room in his of- 
fice in Carmine street While at Holley's he be- 
came acquainted with John Lewis, the confidential 
clerk of the celebrated Col. Aaron Burr, and by 
the latter he was frequently employed in making 
surveys, maps and plans of buildings. 

Reuben Spencer, a city surveyor, at this time 
occasionally employed young Ramsay to assist him 
in making surveys **on the Island/* and in return 
allowed him to use his instruments when he could 
find a job for himself. 

This soon brought him into prominence, which 
resulted in his securing a lucrative business, and in 
bringing his sterling worth into public recognition. 
During this period he met Miss Isabelle Wester- 
velt, eldest daughter of Jacob Westervelt, then 
Sheriff of New York County, whom he married 
May 17, 1 83 1, and soon accepted the appointment 
of book-keeper in the Merchants' Exchange Bank, 
but shortly afler became deputy sheriff under his 
father-in-law, which position he retained under the 
latter's successor, John Hillyer ; and after an inter- 
val of two of Hillyer's successors, was appointed to 
the position again, under his wife's uncle, John J. 
V. Westervelt 

In 1836, Mr. Ramsay, by prudence and econ- 
omy, had amassed sufficient means to gratify his 
desire for the quietude of country life, and accord- 
ingly removed to Schenectady in this year, pur- 
chasing fourteen acres of land, including his pres- 
ent homestead at the head of State street At this 
time there were but two small frame buildings 
upon the property, which, at the present, has be- 
come one of the most eligible building sites in the 
city, upon which have been erected more than 
eighty buildings, including the State Armory. Af- 
ler making some improvements on his properly, 
Mr. Ramsay again relumed to New York to accept 
a situation offered by his brother. Here he re- 
mained for nearly four years, returning to Schenec- 
tady in 1839. 

At this lime Mr. Ramsay resolved to perma- 
nently adopt the profession of surveyor and engi- 
neer, for which his early training and experience 
peculiarly fitted him. In 1842 he received the 
appointment of chief engineer on the Mohawk and 
Hudson Railroad between Albany and Schenec- 
tady. At this lime, the expenses of operating the 
two stationary powers at the heads of the inclined 
planes at the two cities nearly exhausted the re- 
ceipts of the road, and rendered the construction of 
new sections to supersede the inclined planes ab- 
solutely necessary. This difficult work was Mr. 
Ramsay's maiden professional effort, and was ac- 
complished without a single adverse occurrence or 
the interruption of a single train. He was made 
assistant engineer of the Erie Canal enlargement, 
his section extending from Little Falls to the tower 
aqueduct While engaged in this work, he 
was appointed Resident Engineer of the Seneca 
River Sur\'ey and Triangulations, from the Monte- 

zuma Marshes to the foot of Jack's Reef. His ad- 
ministration of this office was so satisfactory, that, 
December 10, 1853, ^^ ^^ appointed, without 
solicitation, State Engineer and Surveyor. 

^^ 1 853* he was chosen by the Board of State 
Officers to locate the wharf or water-line of New- 
town Creek and East River. In 1844-5-6, he 
was engaged by Eugene and Montgomery Liv- 
ingston in defining the subdivision of the great 
Hardenburg Patents, which he accomplished with 
much difficulty and danger during the "anti-rent" 
craze in Ulster and Delaware Counties. Mr. Ram- 
say has held the position of City Surveyor by ap- 
pointment for several terms, though he has never 
taken an active interest in politics, and in 1852 he 
received the Democratic nomination for Mayor of 
the city, which, for private reasons, was declined, 
although equivalent to an election. After the close 
of his State service, Mr. Ramsay received the ap- 
pointment of Chief Engineer of the United Stales 
Petroleum Company, at Pithole, Venango County, 
Penn., and on Duck Creek, Ohio, driving the 
first stake in the oil enterprise on the Thomas 
Holmden farm. He remained, making surveys 
during the oil excitement in this remarkable re- 
gion, until he terminated his professional services 
in 1866-7. 

In 1867, he began preparations to carry out a 
long cherished plan, which, he says, "had been 
the dream of my youth and hope of my age — to 
visit Europe, Egypt, Palestine and Syria," hoping 
thus not only to gain needed recreation and rest, 
but more especially to satisfy the natural craving 
of his mind to visit places and scenes associated 
with ancient Biblical lore. On May i, 1869, he 
sailed for Scotland, and at Glasgow began a tour 
of the wonderful places of the Old World, which, 
as described in his graphic and intelligent lan- 
guage, would fill a volume of valuable and instruc- 
tive material for the students of ancient history. 

Most of the time consumed by Mr. Ramsay s 
journey abroad was spent in Egypt and the 
Holy Land. Here his devout nature was inspired 
and filled with reverence, as he visited and trod 
over places and scenes made sacred and ever tp be 
revered as associated with the lives of the early pa- 
triarchs, and as connected with the life and history 
of our Savior. Only those personally acquainted 
with this venerable gentleman, and who have heard 
him relate with a remarkably intelligent compre- 
hension, aided by a most retentive memory, can 
fully realize how thorough was his research in this 
interesting portion of the world. 

Since his return home he has frequently been 
called upon to deliver lectures upon the subject of 
his travels, and whenever he has complied has 
been highly appreciated. 

Up to this period of Mr. Ramsay's biography we 
have given but the mere outlines, without much 
comment, of the chief events of his remarkably suc- 
cessful and active life. His struggles and successes 
as a poor boy, without assistance, family prestige, 
or influential friends, furnish an example of what 
pluck, brains and honesty can do on the great stage 
of life, and is an incentive to every young man 



struggling with adverse fortune. His success was 
not the result of what the world calls ** good luck. " 
He went to the city of New York at an early period 
to be sure, but even then there was no place in 
this country where competition was stronger, and 
where any young man without influential personal 
friends would be less sure of winning success, ex- 
cept upon true and proved merit Here young 
Ramsay, by application, hard work, perseverance 
and honesty, won not only the nucleus of a com- 
fortable fortune, but, what is better still, the sincere 
respect and esteem of all who knew him. Mr. 
Ramsay early became attached to a Christian church 
and through a long career has been active in pro- 
moting all matters pertaining to church work, and 
by action and deeds has led a consistent Christian 

Mr. Ramsay's domestic relations have been of 
the most pleasant nature. His wife, who shared 
the trials and struggles of his early days and wit- 
nessed the successes and triumphs of his later years, 
still remains his congenial partner in his declining 
years. Ten children have been the result of their 
union, nine of whom are still living. Mr. Ramsay 
has always felt much indebted to the Albany Acad- 
emy, and considers that the instruction there re- 
ceived had much to do with his success in life. 
In 1883, out of friendship, if not as a debt of grati- 
tude, he endowed this institution of learning with 
the sum of $1,000, to be used for the permanent 
establishment of the Henry Ramsay Scholarship, 
to aid poor and deserving young men to obtain an 

Mr. Ramsay has ever been a progressive, public- 
spirited citizen, and has taken a keen and active 
interest in everjthing pertaining to educational 
matters. He himself has been a careful, pains- 
taking student of history, men and passing events, 
and now, in his seventy- eighth year, enjoys good 
health and a high degree of intellectual vigor. In 
this city, his adopted home, where he is best 
known, he is justly honored for his sterling worth 
and integrity of character, and is quietly enjoying 
the remaining years of a well-earned repose, sur- 
rounded by family, kindred and friends. 


•* Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee, 
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he ; 
Full well the busy whisper circling round 
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned." 

Goldsmith's "Deserted Village." 

Chronologically arranged, and as accurately as is 
now possible, the early school-teachers of Schenec- 
tady are given below. These all, as will be seen, 
ante-date any organized State school system. 
Education in the things taught from books in 
those days was of minor importance. The school- 
master was a curious combination of ignorance 
and of a little learning. Oftener than not to his 
profession he joined one of the homely but useful 
trades, generally cobbling. Sobriety was consid- 
ered commendable, but it was no noteworthy 
thing for the ' * master " to indulge* all too freely 

during his hours of freedom from the school-room. 
Physical propulsion, conveyed by the impressive 
whip, was thought a wise way of inducing into the 
mind of the young scholar a proper understanding 
of his studies ; though, even then, there were some 
eccentric fathers who surmised that the best road to 
a boy's brain was not to be found at the sharpest 
end of a whip. 

The first school was opened here by Peter 
Tassermaker, the first pastor of the First Dutch 
Church, who was killed by the Indians when 
Schenectady was burned in 1690. 

In 1725, Peter Feeling, the grandfather of Mrs. 
John Clark, was teaching here. 

The following is a copy of the oldest school-bill 
extant in Schenectady : 

Mr. Jno. R. Schermerhom to Thos. Nielson, 


£ s. d. 

Schooling 2 children from ye 1 7th April, 
1738, to ye 21 November, being 7 
months i 8 7 

Schooling 2 children from ye 21st 
April, 1739, t^ y^ ^^^ December, 
Being 8 mo i 13 4 

2 Psalters 5 o 

£1 6 II 
Abatement for ye children Being at Home 

at Harvest 6 11 

Due £1 o o 

Schenectady, ye mo. March, 1 739-40. 

There appeared before me, Nicholas Schuyler, 
Esq., one of his Majesties Justices of ye Peace for 
ye County of Albany, ye above Thomas Neilson, 
and made oath on ye Holy evangelist of Almighty 
God, that ye above acct. according to the Best of 
his Knowledge is a Just and Fair account Jurat 
Corma made. Thos. Neilson. 

NiCH. Schuyler. 

On the reverse side of which is : 

Reed, from Mr. R. Schermerhom, three pounds, 
New York Currency, Being the full Contents of 
the Acct. on the other side, and is in full of Debts, 
Accts. and Demands Whatsoever to this 24th 
March, 1739-40. 

I say reed, by me, 

Thos. Neilson. 
Witnesseth : 

Anna Wendol. 

£z o o. 

In 1755. Caleb Beck; in 1757, William John- 
son, the ** dominie;" and from 1759 to 1763, 
Hendrick Hansen, were schoolmasters; and by a 
bill dated 7th April, 1762, we learn that Mr. 
Matthew Lyne was then master, and for the years 
1760-4-5-6 bills were also rendered by him : 
** I year, £2 2s.," and ** i yr. 9 mo., jC^ 3s." In 
1766 Richard Oliver was teacher, and from 1765 
to 1768 Andrie Johnson received from 2 to 4 
shillings per month for his services. From an 
account rendered by Peter Sparling to Ryer 



Schermerhorn, and paid 13th March, 1767, it ap- 
pears that Mr. Schermerhorn paid for **6^ months 
day and 5 months night school, at 1 6s. per quarter, '' 
the sum of £1 os. 4d. for his son John ; that 
* * syphering '' cost the same amount per quarter; 
and that to his other qualifications Master Sparling 
added that of a spinner, receiving 2s. a pound for 
* ' spinning 1 1 lb. " In 1 769, George Passage, * *shoc- 
makerand schoolmaster," was paid 2s. 6d. per week 
for his services as teacher. In 1770 Hendrick 
Hausen is again master, and in the same year 
George Passage renders a long account, amounting 
to £\^ IDS. 8d. toReyer Schermerhorn, for mend- 
ing and making shoes, boots and pumps, for in- 
structing * * his son Bartholomew in the cordwaning 
trade." In 1771 William Andrews, who was a cate- 
chist among the Mohawk Indians and missionary, 
and first rector of St George's Church, opened a 
grammar school. In 1772-3 ** William Johnson 
was shoemaker and schoolmaster." Patrons of 
the school needed a little urging to pay their 
school-bills, as the following will show, though, as 
has already appeared, the receiver of this polite 
request had not been remiss with previous bills : 

* * Mr. Schermerhorn, Sir : When I broke up 
school at New Ark, this spring, I sent my acct by 
your son Richard, the amount of which was 
£^ 2S. 8d. As I have heard nothing from you 
since, should be glad if you would order the pay- 
ment of it in New York, either to Mr. Cobham, at 
the great Dock, or Mr. Quakenbush, or where else 
it may suit you, and please to advise me of the 
same by a Letter directed to William Haddon, 
Elizabeth Town, and you will oblige, Sir, 

Your very h'ble serv't, 

William Haddon. 
New York, June 9, 1772." 

In 1773 Dominie Miller was master, and on 
October 5th of the same year. Master P. H. 
Raworth made out a bill for ''one quarter's 
schooling at 13s," on which he had received **one 
Load of Wood, at 3s. 6d." William Wellman, 
master, writes in August, 1773, to one of his 
patrons : "I would be verry glad if you Could let 
me have that Trifle, as I am very much in want, 
for your Boy Schooling, from the %i of Apriel to 
the 28 of July, which is one quarter, 9s." 

In 1774, Francis Rawert (Raworth), as is shown 
by a bill he then makes out, and in May, 1775, 
Mr. Fletcher, were teachers. Ph. Ryley renders 
an account, in 1776, of £\ 13s. for his services as 
teacher, which is offset by a bill of fourteen items, 
in which "cash" is charged three times and 
' * rum " eleven times, bringing the bibulous pro- 
fessor's demand down to nine shillings. A year 
later Master Ryley has another account of £2 8s. , 
and this is reduced by offsets to eight shillings, but 
to his credit be it said, that the word "rum" is 
not so frequent In 1779-80, "Mr. Martin kept 
a school in a house standing then between the 
house of C. Vibbard and Dr. A. G. Fonda, on the 
north side of Union street. " In 1 780, John Clute, 
and from 1783 to 1785, Edward Johnson, taught 



A history of the Schenectady Academy elsewhere 
appears in this article. The teachers for 1785 
were : Michael Tyms, English teacher, appointed 
April 29 ; Nicholas Van Vranken, September 22, 
and Mr. Basset, October 24. Jacobus Romeyn 
was made usher August 14, 1786. In July, 1787, 
Basset and Van Vranken were still teaching; and 
August 20, Mr. Wilkie is engaged, to begin No- 
vember I. Mr. Basset to " leave at next quarterly 
examination, on September 5, 1787," and on that 
day. Rev. Dirck Romeyn is appointed superintend- 
ent of the academy. January 18, 1788, the teach- 
ers were : Tyms, Van Vranken and Wilkie, and 
May 28, Morris, Tyms and " Beck's room." From 
the fact that, on June 12, "Mr. Beck, usher," is 
directed to * * leave at end of quarter in September, 
it is to be inferred he may have been the * * teacher 
in " Beck's room. " Mr. Wilkie also leaves then. 
September i, 1789, Mr. Elliott was teaching the 
English branches there. In March, 1790, Mr. 
Tyms was teaching arithmetic, and from Septem- 
ber I, 1789, to March i, 1790, Van Vranken was 
Latin and Greek professor. Mr. Wilkie "taught 
reading, arithmetic, etc." "D. Hale was Latin 
preceptor as early as January, 1792." John Tay- 
lor and Luther Halsey were also professors there in 
1792 and 1793. 

In 1793, John Lambert kept school in Church 
street, in what was, in 1865, the Tannahill house. 

Temperance teachings seem to have made some 
progress, or at least the masters were willing to 
make the effort to avoid the blue Mondays so fre- 
quent heretofore. The following iron-clad pledge 
speaks for itself : 

"This agreement, made the twentieth day of 
March, 1800, Witnesseth, That the subscriber 
hereunto will not, betwixt this date and the first 
day of June next ensuing, neglect his school through 
means of his getting intoxicated, with any kind of 
liquors whatsoever, under a forfeit of five dollars 
for each time, time to be stopped out of his school 
pay by me. Bartholomew Schermerhorn. 


March 20, 1 800. ) 

(Signed) John Hetherington. " 

True, this pledge only provides for "neglect" • 
of his duties, but it was a good step in the right 

With the beginning of the Schenectady Acade- 
my, and particularly after it merged into Union 
College, education proper commenced here. 
While the bulk of the students attended these 
schools, still there were some private schools in 
existence, among which were the following : 

In 1800, Mrs. Van Orden taught a school in 
the second house from the comer of Washington 
and State streets. A Mr. Barhydt and a Mr. Wig- 
gins (who also read prayers in the Episcopal 
Church) were teaching here in 1802, and four years 
later * * Mr. Ganley taught school in a room in the 
yard on the south side of State street, back of 
where Gray's shoe store afterwards was." Mr. 
Shumway in 1805 "kept school "in a house at 
the west corner of Front and Ferry streets, and 



Thomas Dunlap taught vocal music at Mr. 
Moone/s school-house in 1807. 

By a notice published March 28, 1808, it ap- 
pears that a ** French professor" had recently been 
engaged for the ** Schenectady Female Academy," 
who **will devote two hours in the forenoon of 
each day to the instruction of such young ladies as 
wish to acquire a knowledge of that language." 
Mr. Malcom and C. C. Cuyler were teachers of the 
Female Academy in 1808. It was located at 32 
Church street, the lot afterward passing into the 
hands of the Masonic Order. 

February 4, 1 81 2, the president of the consistory 
of the Dutch Church was authorized to subscribe 
fifty dollars *' toward the support of a suitable per- 
son to instruct the people of color in this place," 
and April 20, measures were taken by them to es- 
tablish a school, and they "procured the late Mr. 
Murdock's store " for that purpose. 

This ends our recital of the * * Old Masters " of 
Schenectady. The opening of the '^Lancaster" 
School in 18 16 marked an important epoch in 
our educational development 


In the Lancasterian System of Schools, thus 
named after its inventor, Joseph Lancaster, of 
England, the seats and tables were arranged in the 
center of the school-room, leaving a passage clear 
around the outside; on the walls hung stiff cards 
or pasteboards containing the lessons, so that 
the class, standing in a semicircle, could learn to 
read and spell from the same card. The tables 
were divided into partitions, or shallow boxes, 
filled with sand, and occupying the spaces in front 
of each scholar. The child was taught the letters 
and how to make them by drawing them in the sand 
with a stick, cut sharp at one end and flat at the 
other, so that light and heavy lines could be made 
without having to retrace them. The sand was 
smoothed over with a rule of exactly the same 
width as the partition, and the lines to rule the 
sand were made by little pegs in the ruler, on the 
other side, which was used after the sand had been 
smoothed. After learning to trace the letters in 
the sand, the scholars were given slates and pencils, 
afterward pens and ink. Monitors from the higher 
classes were assigned classes to teach, being 
changed frequently, so that teaching might not 
occupy too much of their time to the detriment 
of their own studies. 

An act to incorporate the Schenectady Lancaster 
School Society was passed November 12, 1816. 
The act provides that this school could be estab- 
lished in the compact parts of the first and second 
wards of the city; and that the thirteen trustees 
therein appointed should receive all the moneys 
rightfully due them under the act relative to com- 
mon schools. 

The thirteen trustees named in the act (and 
who by the act were to be elected annually by the 
citizens) were; Maus Schermerhom, Henry Yates, 
Jr., Cyrus Stebbins, Jacob Van Vechten, Hooper 
Cumming, Isaac Riggs, Elisha Taylor, Eliphalet 

Nott, James Bailey, David Boyd, Abraham S. 
Groot, Charles Kane and James C. Duane. 

The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was 
held November 20, 181 6, at the ofiice of Henry 
Yates. James C. Duane was elected President; 
David Boyd, Treasurer; and Isaac Riggs, Secretary. 
Different committees were appointed, among which 
was one to draft by-laws and one to ascertain 
'*the probable expense of a building for the 
school-house." February 12, 18 17, a committee 
reported to the Board that ' ' they had procured a 
lot from the corporation " for school purposes, and 
a committee was appointed to receive proposals for 
building such house. The by-laws were adopted 
five days later. 

December 17, 1 8 1 7, a committee reported that 
they had '* obtained for the benefit of the Lan- 
caster School Society, from the corporation of this 
city, seventy acres of land on the hill opposite 
Jacob Lyons' " which was situated on **the north- 
east side of the Albany and Schenectady turnpike,*' 
* * * that * * they expect to receive for 
the taxes laid on the two inner wards, the sum of 
$213.72," and in February next, '* to receive from 
the State about the said sum of $213," which, with 
about $90 " in the hands of D. L. Van Antwerp, 
** will make a total of about §500 to be received 
during the current year. " It was also resolved at 
this meeting that the salary of the teacher should 
be $750 yearly, provided enough money was 
received to make that amount ; if not, then the 
salary was to be all above * * the current expenses 
of the year. " 

January 10, 181 8, Nicholas Van Vranken was 
unanimously chosen to be the teacher upon the 
opening of the school. 

The report of 23d May, places the tuition at 
"one dollar a quarter, paid in advance," and 
that school be opened June 24. (The building 
in which it was located is now occupied, 1885, by 
the Union School Primary Department on Union 
street ) 

July 24, the committee reported that they had 
*' caused the school-house to be finished, and that 
there remained due to Mr. Lyon the sum of $317.- 
25, after deducting $488.70, the price of 54 acres 
I rood 8 perches of land at $9 per acre. Cost of 
the whole, $809.95. 

The first Teacher's Report to the Board, showing 
the result of the Lancasterian system, was presented 
by Nicholas Van Vranken, March, 1820. In this 
remarkably able paper it is stated. ' ' The whole 
number of scholars admitted into the school since 
the ist March, 181 9, is 267. The school is 
divided into 8 reading classes; from the first to 
the second of these there have been 27 promo- 
tions; to the third, 28; to the fourth, 26; to the 
fifth, 44; to the sixth, 31; to the seventh, 39; and 
to the eighth, 36." The method in use is then 
spoken of: *'When it is taken into consideration 
that none are permitted to write on paper but 
those who write a fair and handsome hand on the 
slate, and that 154 out of 267 have done this, the 
excellence of the place * * ♦ must 
stand unquestioned." 



March 27, 1824, tuition was reduced to twenty- 
five cents; the salary of the teacher to $500; and 
resolved that "poor scholars, not exceeding forty, 
be admitted into the school gratuitously." 

June 27, 1831, the corporate seal, a circular 
seal with the letters **S. L. S." engraved thereon, 
was adopted. 

March 23, 1832, it was resolved that the teacher 
receive for his salary for the ensuing year, after de- 
ducting therefrom the incidental expenses of the 
school, **the total amount of the public money 
arising from tax and school fund, and also the 
amount received for tuition, at twenty-five cents 
per scholar." '*The poor children " to be received 
as per resolution of March 27, 1824. Many out- 
side duties were thrown upon the teacher; he per- 
sonally bargained for and superintended all repairs, 
building of walks, etc. March 13, 1833, Ezekiel 
Sexton was elected teacher in place of Mr. Van 
Vranken, who declined a reappointment Reso- 
lutions commendatory of Mr. Van Vranken for his 
fifteen years' services as teacher were passed by the 
Board, and Mr. Van Vranken was elected one of 
the Trustees of the Board. October 16, 1833, it 
was resolved that the present school-house be sold 
to Dr. Nott for $225, "reserving the benches and 
fixtures," and that they purchase of Gov. Yates, a 
lot on College street for S500, of forty feet front, 
upon which a new school-house is to be erected. 
October 28th the committee reported that Dr. Nott 
wanted the outhouses, etc., included with the 
school-house. This the Board refused to grant, 
and it was decided that the buildings should be 
turned into the general building fund, to be used 
as far as practicable in the new school-house. The 
Joseph C. Yates lot was bought for $500, as is 
shown by the report of March 19, 1834, and on 
March 26th it appears that Dr. Nott had finally 
purchased the school-house for $250, **the 
benches being reserved." The school "to be 
vacated the ist of April next" 

Proposals, as follows, for building the new school- 
house, were submitted 21st April: 

John N. Vrooman, for $759.98^; Frederick 
Tupper, for $800; Henry Vine, for $775; Berten 
& Kingsley, for $850; Edward Clark, for $800. 
Mr. Vrooman's bid being accepted. 

Mr. James Slater was elected teacher one week 
later, and specifications for the new school-house 
in College street were decided upon. It was to 
be ' * forty feet from front to rear, thirty feet wide, 
and twenty feet high from top of sills to top of 
plates," and to be *' finished June 1st next" The 
first meeting was held in the building July 16th, 
when it was ordered that the second story be 

April I, 1836, it was Resolved, *• That this 
corporation feel themselves obliged to appropriate, 
for the purposes of the education of the colored 
children of this city, such proportion of the public 
money as may hereafter be collected on the enu- 
meration of such children," and in June, 1837, 
$25 was set aside from the school funds to be 
applied for the maintenance of a teacher in the 
** African Lancaster School Society." 

March 15, 1839, this resolution, etc., was 
adopted: '* Whereas, Doubts have been expressed 
whether any other mode of instruction than what is 
called the 'Lancaster System,' can be used in the 
schools of this Society; Resohed, that this Board re- 
quest our members of Assembly and the Senate 
* * * to procure a law to remove such doubts, 
and leave this Board the power of causing all the 
branches of education taught in any of the com- 
mon schools of this State to be taught in the 
schools of this Society, and in any approved mode 
that this Society may deem expedient to adopt" 
Mr. Slater was hired as teacher for another year; 
his pay to be so much of the public money as docs 
not exceed $550 and the tuition money. ** He to 
employ at his own expense a female teacher for the 
female department " April 1 8th, a District Library 
was ordered to be paid for with the State money. 
At this meeting $200 was appropriated for the es- 
tablishment of a school or schools in the first 
ward, and S300 for schools "in the part of the 
third or fourth wards, or in both, or either of 
them, within the Police District" These schools 
to be subject to the regulations of the Board, so 
long as their teachers "receive any part of the ap- 
propriation." By December 50th, $279.34 had 
been expended for the new library, and the books 
were, "for the present," in the rooms of the 
" Young Men's Association," and Alexander Cam- 
eron was appointed Librarian. 

The committee appointed April 18, 1839, re- 
ported February 25, 1840, that: A school be es- 
tablished in the first ward; teacher's salary to be 
$250; tuition to be $1.50 per quarter from May 
to November; $1.75 November to May. Gram- 
mar, geography, bookkeeping, navigation and 
surveying to be taught Section 8 of the report 
is as follows: "It is proposed to continue some 
parts of the * Lancaster System ' (such as the mode 
of teaching the names and mode of forming fig- 
ures and letters) in the first or primary school, 
and in the other schools in the wards for begin- 
ners, but to depend upon instruction fi'om the 
teachers personally so soon as the scholar has 
made progress beyond the first elements of litera- 
ture;" and section 7 states that they "hope to have" 
furnished by the corporation "the engine- 
house in Liberty street, and the old market belong- 
ing to the heirs of Peter Smith." The treasurer's 
ref)ort of April 6, 1840, shows $833.75 on hand. 

Wm. D. Cockran and Miss Stiles were engaged 
as teachers for the "Lancaster School;" Martin 
C. Hall for Ferry Street School; and Harvey 
Moore for Liberty Street School. These two last 
opening May 4, 1840. 

The annual report, made to the Superintendent 
of Common Schools, November i, 1840, shows 
that during the past year the whole amount of pub- 
lic money received from the County Treasurer was 
$1,396.88, of which $279.37 was paid for books, 
$48 to the African School, and the balance of 
$1,069.51 for wages of teachers (they also received 
about $450 tuition fees). The number of children 
taught in all the schools in which the trustees had 
any voice was 360; the number of children re- 



siding within the Police between the ages of five 
and sixteen years was 1,065. The teachers were: 
James Slater, Martin C. Hall, Misses Ritchie, 
Thurston and Stiles, their monthly wages running 
from $15 to $45. 

April I, 1 84 1, Myndert Veeder was teacher for 
the Liberty street school, James Slater and Miss 
Stiles re-elected for the Lancaster School, and 
Nicholas Merselis for the Ferry street school. The 
''^Lancaster School Report," submitted at this 
meeting shows the total amount of school money 
received for the year to be $1,409. 1 2. 

April II, 1842, the school money was divided 
as follows: '*The school in College street, male 
department, $330; female department, 135; Ferry 
street school, $190; Liberty street school, $190; 
John B. Clute School, in State street, $115 (this is 
the first mention in the minutes of this school); and 
the African School, $40." July 15 ** the rear lot 
of the Lancaster House was leased to James D. 
Felthousen for a term of fifteen years " (price not 
stated). November ist, Joseph Blanchard was ap- 
pointed teacher in the State street school. 

The school money, as reported April 9, 1843, 
was $1,335.88, and at this meeting Nancy Ferrell 
was engaged as teacher for the female department, 
and Frederick De Lamater for the State street 
school. On March 5th there were 1,009 volumes 
in the Library. 

During 1843-44 the question of changing the 
present school system was seriously agitated, when, 
on January 6, 1845, it was decided **not to take 
any action thereon at present" 

The annual report of Alexander Holland, made 
April 2, 1845, was so unusually accurate and de- 
tailed, that he was given a special vote of thanks. 

The appropriation for 1 84 5 for the pay of teachers 

was : 























College street school, male department, 

Maiden lane 
Ferry street 
State street 
Miss Clark, a private teacher in Yates st, 
Miss Ritchie, " ** *' Front ** 

Miss Joanna Crooks, ** Wash'n'ton " 
African School, .... 

Total, .... $1,000 00 

Wm. G. Caw was appointed teacher for the 
Fourth ward school in May, in place of Mr. De 
Lamater, resigned, and, in October, M. Myndert 
Veeder was elected teacher in the Lancaster School 
vice Mr. Hall, resigned. It appears, from the 
minutes of this meeting, that the ** Fourth ward 
school was held in Wm. Hannah's building in 
State street. " 

The report made April 10, 1846, shows that the 
average attendance at the different schools had been : 

College street, male department, 

• 94 

'* female 


Ferry ** 

• 51 

Maiden Lane, .... 


Fourth ward, 


The amount of school money received for the 
year, reported April 24th, was $1,295.85. On May 
6th the gradual introduction of uniform text-books 
was recommended. 

This was brought forth by a memorial from the 
teachers, presented at the last meeting. The fol- 
lowing is a list of the books designated by them, 
with those also named by the committee : 

Webster's Spelling Book, Hazen's Speller and 
Definer, Sanders' First, Second and Third Reader, 
Hale's History of the United States, Porter's Rhe- 
torical Reader, New Testament, Smith's Grammar, 
Mitchell's Geography, First and Second, Critten- 
den's Arithmetic, Parley's History, Davies' Algebra, 
Olmstead's Philosophy, Marsh's Bookkeeping 
(Single Entry), Crittenden's Bookkeeping (Double 

The introduction of music books was also fa- 
vored. It seems that music very soon became 
part of the curriculum, as on August 20th the 
teachers invited the Board **to attend an examina- 
tion of their scholars in musical exercises " soon to 
be held, which invitation was accepted by the 
Board as a body. The following week, on the 
29th, a grand concert was given by the united 
scholars in the consistory of the Dutch Reformed 
Church, which was well attended. Mr. S. B. 
Marsh was the musical instructor. 

The agitation regarding a change from the Lan- 
caster system was again raised during 1847. Inur- 
ing this year — 1847 — the Maiden Lane school was 
removed to a room leased in the Cameronian 
Church. Mr. Vedder, the retiring secretary, added 
these words to the minutes of the meeting held 
July 17th: *'Vale, vale, longum vale. How mutable 
are all human affairs. Otiiello's occupation gone. 
Bread or no bread." 

The amount appropriated April 10, 1848, for 
pay for teachers was : three male teachers at $250 
a year, or $750 ; one female teacher at $100; and 
one at $125. Total, $975. 

The apportionment of the school money for 
teachers' salaries made April 6, 1849, ^'^ as 
follows : 

College street school, male department $245 00 

'* " «• female " no 00 

Maiden lane ** 245 00 

Ferry street " 245 00 

Miss Sanders' ** no 00 

African •* 40 00 

Total 1^5 00 

During 1849 t^^rc were various complaints made 
against different teachers, but in every case the 
teacher was sustained by the Board. 

January 4, 1850, the customary resolutions were 
passed regarding the death of Frederick R. Van 
Ingen, Esq., a late member of the Board. Hiram 
Champion was appointed to fill the vacancy caused 
by his death. January 26th it was recommended 
* * that the schools be made entirely free from the 
present quarter," but no definite action was taken 
thereon, and March 7th it was reported that there 
would be sufiicient, School money ($1,997) to pay 
the teachers enough more to make up for their 
deprivation of tuition money, and also to establish 



another school of a higher grade. April 4th the 
appropriation for teachers was : 

First ward school, male $310 00 

Second** *• •* 31000 

** ** ** female. 17000 

Fourth" " male 31000 

*• " " female 170 00 

Total $1,270 00 

and $225 was applied for the Library. 

The report of the Treasurer, made April 1 8th, 
shows the school money received for the year to be 
$1,261.10, which, with $307.69 received from the 
former Treasurer, made $1,568.69 total cash re- 
ceived. April 25th, the Special Committee upon 
By-laws made their report. This report provides 
for the routine business of the Board, the appoint- 
ment of committees, regular and special, etc. The 
report of the ** Library and Text-Book " Committee, 
made at this meeting, is : 

Year. Appropriation. Vols, purchased. 

1839 $27934 18^ 

1840 27491 218 probably. 

1841 281 84 218 ** 

1842 26725 205 " 

1843 267 17 183 

1844 26800 131 

1845 259 17 95 

1846 26060 197 

1847 26459 195 

1848 24747 13s 

1849 254 70 118 

II years. $2,91504 1,879 vols. 

119 volumes are reported as missing, and ''96 
volumes probably." 

May 2, the following uniform system of text- 
books was recommended : 

Reading and Spelling — Mandeville's Course, i 
to 6, 

New Testament, 

Swan's Spelling Book, 

Mitchell's Primary and large Geography, 

Perkins' Primary, Elementary and High Arith- 
metic, and Colbum's Intellectual, 

Grammar — Brown's first lines and larger, 

Cutter's Physiology, 

Hall's History of the United States, 

Gray's Natural Philosophy, 

Perkins' Elements of Algebra and Geometry, 

Johnston's Catechism of Agricultural Chemistry, 
which was adopted by the Board May 23. The 
tuition for children under five years of age was 
fixed at $2 per quarter. The report of July 11 
shows that John W. Schoolcraft had been teaching 
the African School since June 3d,at $15 per month. 
(This school had not been in operation for some 
months), and October 1 1 th it was decided that this 
school should be closed November 3d. 

The question of a free school had, by this time, 
become universally agitated, and in January, 1852, 
a committee was appointed to prepare a draft of a 
law for such a school in the city, with a view of 
having the same presented to the Legislature at its 
present session. The committee reported, through 
its President, February 24th, that ** the free school of 
the city of Troy, with such alterations and amend- 

ments as may be necessary, as being suitable for 
this city, " and the report was adopted. 

In 1853 * ^^w school was opened in the Third 
ward, on *'The Green," and Miss Frances M. 
Sacia was engaged as teacher on April ist 

The last meeting of the "Lancaster School So- 
ciety" of which there is any record, was held 
March 16, 1854, the minutes being in the hand- 
writing of Mr. B. V. S. Vedder, for many years its 
Secretary. By these minutes it appears that the 
Trustees recently elected were : 

A. A. Van Vorst, B. V. S. Vedder, W. H. Clute, 
A. M. Vedder, Francis Van DeBogart, Peter Ved- 
der, Jont. Pierson, Nathaniel Clark, D. M. Chad- 
sey, John Foster, S. L. Hand, M. C. Myers and 
A. M. Mull. 

A. A. Van Vorst was elected President, B. V. S, 
Vedder, Secretary, and A. M. Vedder, Treasurer. 
At this meeting the following resolution was 
adopted : 

* * That this Board do approve of the act now 
before the Legislature of this State, providing for 
the reorganization and improvement of the school 
system of this city, and that we recommend its 
immediate passage," and **that the President and 
Secretary be requested to forward a copy of the 
foregoing resolution to the chairman of the proper 
committee of the Senate of this State, under their 
official signatures." 

The "Lancaster School System," after a life of 
nearly forty years (181 6 to 1854), gave way during 
the latter year, to our present Free School system. 


April 9, 1854, an act was passed by the Legisla- 
ture in relation to the public schools in the city of 
Schenectady, and on the 15th of the month the 
Union School was established. In the evening of 
that day the first meeting of School Commissioners 
was held at the Common Council Chamber at the 
Court House. There were present : Alonzo C. 
Paige and Nicholas Van Vranken, from the First 
Ward; D. M. Moore and Wm. M. Duane, of the 
Second; Charles Chequer and Hiram Champion, 
of the Third ; and Rev. I. G. Duryee and D. M. 
Chadsey, of the Fourth Ward. Alter organization, 
Mr. Nicholas Van Vranken was elected president, 
and D. M. Chadsey, secretary. James J. Marlette 
succeeded Mr. Chadsey the following year. The 
commissioners, at this meeting, drew lots to decide 
which should hold the long or short terms. Steps 
for the purchase of a proper building for school 
purposes were at once taken, and, May 26th, David 
M. Moore, of the committee, reported that the West 
College, which originally cost over $53,000, could 
be purchased by the city for $6,000. The grounds 
were 225 feet front on College street This prop- 
erty was secured shortly after this report, and the 
first two stories were made ready to accommodate 
about 450 scholars, it being believed that that num- 
ber would cover all those ready to attend the 

October 15, 1852, the school was formally 
opened. In the evening appropriate exercises were 



held at the Presbyterian Church, at which speeches 
were made by Dr. Nott, Dr. Hickok and Judge 
Paige. That the commissioners had been in error 
in concluding that the two lower stories would ac- 
commodate those desirous of attending was soon 
made apparent From 450 the pupils immediately 
increased to over 1,100, and it was necessary to 
close the school in order to prepare the third 

The re-opening was December loth, at which 
time there were accommodations for 1,200 pupils; 
800 in the main building, 200 in the old Lan- 
caster school building, and 200 in the White street 

In the beginning the Union School was divided 
into ten departments over which George B. Cook 
was principal; he was assisted by the following 
teachers: Mary A. Morrill, junior and senior prim- 
ary departments ; Lizzie A. W. Hill, junior sec- 
ondary department; Huldah A. Allen, senior sec- 
ondary department ; Isabella E. Fisher, junior 
intermediate department; Angeline A. Monk, 
senior intermediate department; Caroline Van Voor- 
his, junior grammar department; Malvina Proctor, 
senior grammar department; Jane L. Olmstead, 
Catharine S. Olmstead, Mary Wilds, higher English 
department; John S. Parsons, Mary A. Bodge, 
Caroline L. Bridgman, academical department; 
Abby W. French and two assistant teachers, boys' 
library school ; and Rebecca M. Gurnsey and Jane 
I. Cunningham, White street school. 

The attendance at this school, from its com- 
mencement, has steadily increased. The whole 
building was soon in use, and 1859, ^^^^ ^s known 
as the "New Building" was erected. In 1872 
another change was necessary, and the classical 
department was removed to the Delavan building 
at the comer of Union and Church streets, and the 
Fifth ward school was erected. Five years later, 
1877, the Park Place school was put up, and the 
Nott Terrace school followed in 1883. 

The yearly school-money now is about $30,000. 
Mr. Samuel B. Howe was appointed Superintend- 
ent of Schools August 31, 1868, and has held the 
position continuously ever since. To his personal 
efforts much of the success of the schools are 

The number of scholars' names now on the 
registers is 2, 500, and the average daily attendance 
is about 1,800. To instruct these the following 
named teachers are required, the year of the com- 
mencement of their services in Schenectady being 
also given: Anna E. Gilbert, Main School, August, 
i860; Sarah E. LaRue, August, i860; Elizabeth 
M. Yates, June, 1867; Mary C. Paine, December, 
1870; Marie Hastings, October, 1871; Mary L 
Buell, August, 1872; Elizabeth Hallowell, Novem- 
ber, 1873; Ella McNee, March, 1876; Emma Lee, 
August, 1880; Augusta Oothout, November, 
1880; Helena A. Hall, November, 1880; Jennie 
Vedder, June, 1881; Emma C. Chubb, February, 
1882; Susie C. Vedder, June, 1882; Susie N. 
Sprague, October, 1882; Anna Ferguson, Novem- 
ber 1882; Lillie D. Daley, June, 1883; ^'arrie A. 
Brown, June, 1883; Ella McKenry, June, 1883; 

EllaTerworth, October, 1884; MaryCleary, March, 
1885. Total, 21. 

C. S. Halsey, Classical School, July, 1875 \ Helen 
E. Carley, June, 1881 ; EmmaL. Clare, June, 1881 ; 
Ida J. Fenn, September, 1882 ; M. H. Duurloo, 
July, 1883 ; Dow Beekman, June, 1884 ; Georgia 
Gates, Classical and Elocution, June, 1884. 
Total, 7. 

Olive Morris, Nott Terrace School, August, 
1866 ; Ernestine Stock well, January, 1868 ; Lydia 
H. Brown, February, 1872 ; Minnie A. Piper, 
December, 1881 ; Alice D. Stevens, June, 1882 ; 
Mary F. Caw, February, 1883 ; Lottie Allen, 
June, 1883; Carrie R. Smith, October, 1884. 
Total, 8. 

Anna E. Cunningham, Albany Hill School, 
May, 1867 ; Lucinda Sands, April, 1874 ; Joanna 
Chandler, October, 1874; Lillian G. King, April, 
1885. Total, 4. 

Rachel Baker, Park Place School, September, 
1874; Etta W. Fellhousen, March, 1877; Mar- 
garet L. Groot, March 1877 ; Irene Schermerhom, 
March, 1882. Total, 4. 

Helen Palmer, Instrumental Music, August, 

Recapitulation of Teachers. 

Main School, 21 ; Classical, 7 ; Nott Terrace, 
8 ; Albany Hill, 4 ; Park Place, 4. Total number. 
Teachers, 44. 

S. B. Howe was born in Tompkins Co., N. Y., 
and graduated from Union College in 1862. He 
served as adjunct professor in the college, and 
previous to his location here, in 1868, as school 
superintendent, in Ithaca (1862), Catskill (1865), 
and Albany (1867). 

Cady Staley, Professor of Civil Engineering in 
Union College, was bom in Florida, Montgomery 
County, N. Y., December 12, 1840, and gradu- 
ated from Union College in 1865. He became a 
civil engineer in 1867, and in 1881 served on the 
Central Pacific Railroad as bridge engineer, and is 
at present Dean and Acting Treasurer of the Col- 

Many graduates from '*01d Union " remember 
James Pickett, who was for many years prior to 
his death the superintendent of the college grounds. 
Mr. Pickett's unobtrusive kindness and Christian 
character made for him many friends. 

Charles S. Halsey was bom in Cambria, Ni- 
agara County, N. Y., December 20, 1834, and 
graduated from Williams College in 1856. He 
served as principal in Macedon Academy, Wayne 
County, N. Y., from September, 1856, to March, 
1858; Newton Collegiate Institute, Newton, N. J., 
from April, 1859, to April, 1861; Macedon Acad- 
emy, from August, 1862, to June, 1865; High 
School, Burlington, Vt, from 1872 to 1875; ^"^ 
in 1875 was elected principal of the Union Clas- 
sical Institute, Schenectady, N. Y. He is author 
of "A Genealogical and Chronological Chart of the 
Rulers of England, Scotland, France, Germany 
and Spain" (1873), and (1882) *'An Etymology 


of Latin and Greek." His studies in philology 
have been estensive. 


The first authentic infonnation of any special 
attention being given to an organized school 
system in Schenectady dates back to the rev- 

The coming of Dominie Romeyn as pastor of 
the Dutch Church, was the inspiration of the 
Schenectady Academy. Through his influence 
the church was induced to erect a commodious 
building, the citizens agreeing to give it their 
patronage and furnish it with a library. The 
church contemplated constructing a house of 
two stories, with two rooms on each story, upon 
the lot of ground upon which the old guard-house 
now stands, at the junction of Church and State 
streets. Three rooms were to be assigned for the 
use of the school and academy. 

On account of the great cost of the Academy- 
house to the church, it was " resolved, that said 
church shall receive fourshillings from every scholar 
(aught in said house, and if said academy or Illus- 
Ire Sckocl shall become changed into a college, 
then the presidents of such college, as well as the 
rector of said school, shall be a member of the 
Dutch Church and minister of this church ; and 
the said four shillings for each scholar shall be be- 
stowed upon such poor scholars as the chprch shall 
name. " 

The consistory, about March 5, 17S5, were still 
negotiating with the town magistrates for the im- 
provement of the common schools of the town and 
for the establishment of an academy. The con- 
sistory ordered the gathering of materials for the 
academy on the i6th of the same month, and on 
the 28th it was considered expedient to build the 
academy, not uf>on the old guard-house lot, 
but upon the north comer of Union and Ferry 

April 7, 1785, the academy building was well 
under way, and the consistory, together with 
twenty-seven respectable citizens of the town, met 
atRueben Simond's public-house in Church street, 
to close the matter of the academy by signing 
articles of agreement for its management and sup- 
port, (This agreement is drawn with great formal- 
ity and particularity in eleven sections, and is 
written upon fifteen pages of foolscap — probably 
by Do. Romeyn, who was president of the 
meeting. ) 

William Schermerhom was appointed superin- 
tendent, and a committee, both of citizens and 
consistory, to UTge forward the Academy building. 
A stone of an oval shape was built into the front 
on which were cut the names of the building 
committee ; this stone is now in Union College 

An effort was made in 179 1 to endow this school 
by a grant of Indian lands; and November 16, 
Dr. Dirk Van Ingen announced to the consistory 
that he and others had rented 10, 140 acres of land 
of the Oneida Indians for twenty-one years, on con- 

sideration that he paid after five years jCiOO yearly 
to said Indians. Inasmuch as ihe academy, un- 
incorporated, could not hold real estate, he of- 
fered the land to the consistory for the benefit of 
the Dutch Church. At first the consistory agreed 
to receive the land but subsequently gave it up, 
finding, doubtless, that it could not be legally held 
by the church. 

On the id day of April, 1793, the Dutch 
Church made the building over to the trustees of 
the academy; and on September 24, 1796, it was 
made over to the trustees of Union College, to be 
sold and the money put into a more commodious 
building. The proceeds of this sale were finally 
merged in the building fund of the present Union 
School edifice. 

Academy Building, F795. 

The academy building was of brick, two stories 
in height, about 50 x 30 feet on the ground, and 
cost about t3,ooa It was used by Union College 
until 1804. Thisschool was opened in 1793 under 
the care of Col. John Taylor, of New jersey. This 
school appears to have been conducted with much 
ability, and being well sustained by the community 
in which it was planted, became the germ of the 

An academic school, in connection with Union 
College, was established by President Nott imme- 
diately after his election in 1804. The teachers of 
this school were appointed by him, and the princi- 
pal was recognized by the laws of the college as a 
member of the faculty. This academic school be- 
came popular and extensively useful for many 

On the 7th of April, 1818, an act was passed 
authorizing the revival and reorganization of the 
Schenectady Academy, which was done by the 
election of a Board of Trustees on the ist day of 
April, 1819. The academic department of Union 
College was merged into this school. 

The Rev. Dr. Nathan N, Whiting was appointed 
principal of the academy, and was succeeded by 
Mr. Wm. Bealtie, who resigned in 1828, and was 
succeeded by Daniel Fuller. 

The academy continued until the reorganization 
of the schools of the city in 1854. 



Uuiun College was founded at Schenectady, Feb- 
ruary J5, 1795. The Legislature having vested in 
the regents of the university the right of granting 
college charters, a memorial was addressed to the 
board by the trustees of the Schenectady Academy. 
which led lo the granting of a charter to twenty- 
four persons therein named, and their successors, 
under the title of "The Trustees of Union College 

in the Town of Schenectady, in the Slate of New 
York." The first trustees were Robert Yates, 
.\braham Yates, Jr., Abraham Ten IJroeck, Golds- 
brow IJanyar, John V. Henry, George Merchant, 
StephenVan Rensselaer, Jolin Glen, Isaac Vrooman, 
Joseph C. Yaies, James Shuier, Nicholas Veeder, 
James Gordon, Bcriah Palmer, Samuel Smidi, 
Henry Walton, Ammi Rodgers, Aaron Conduit, 
jacobus V. C. Romeyn, James Cochran, John Frey, 
D. Christopher Pick, Jonas Plait, and Jonas Coe. 


Of these, seven resided in Albany, six in Sche- 
nectady, three in Ballston; and in Saratoga, Troy, 
Kinderhook, Palatine. Herkimer and Whiiesiown, 
N. Y., and Hackenaack, N. J., one each. 

Under an act passed March 30, 1805, the charter 
was amended by the regents, March 29, 1806, by 
reducing the number to twenty-one and adding the 
Cluncdlor, Justices of the Supreme Court, Secre- 
tary of Stale. Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney- 
General and Surveyor-General, by virtue of their 
civil offices. The Constitution of 1821, by reducing 
ihe numberofjudgesmade further vacancies, which 
by an act passed February 14, 1823, were to be 
filled by the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. 

The Constitution of 1846. by abolishing some of 
the above offices, required further changes, and the 
tx officio trustees arc now the Governor, Lieutenant- 
Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller and 
Treasurer. They were empowered lo hold an estate 
with an income of $13. 333^, were vested with tlie 
usual powers of a college, and were empowered lo 
fill vacancies in their board. 

Tlie chronicles of the day record that the event 
of receiving a college charter was celebrated by 
great rejoicing, with the ringing of bells, display of 
flags, bonfires and general illumination. 

The name " Union Co/l^tye" was given as express- 
ing the intention of uniting all religious sects in a 
common Interest for the common good, by offering 
equal advanUigcs to all, with preference to none. 

It is believed thai this is the first college in the 
United Stales not confessedly denominational in 
its character. 

The college was organized on Uie 19th of Octo- 
ber, 1795, by the election of Rev. John Blair 
Smith, D.D., of Philadelphia, as president; jolm 

j Taylor, A. M.. as professor 01 raalliematics and 

I natural philosophy; and the Rev, Andrew Yates, 

as professor of the Latin and Greek languages. 

The first commencement was held May, 1797. 
and the first degree conferred upon three young 
men, who had completed the course of study le- 

This wHSan occasion of signal and novel interest 
all over the country around, and drew together a 
large and enltiusiaslic audience. The public ex- 
ercises were held in the old Reformed Dutch 

Dr. Smith was succeeded by Rev. Jonathan Ed- 
wards, D. D, (son of Rev. Jonathan Edwards, after- 
wards President of the College of New Jersej'), 
who died in 1801, and was followed by Rev. Jona- 
than Mascy, D, D., a Baptist clergyman from 
Providence, R. I., who resigned in iSo4, and went 
to Columbia, South Carolina, as Piesideni of the 
South Carolina College. 

Under the presidency of Dr. Edwards a new ed- 
ifice was begun on a scale magnificent for that day, 
and still one of the finest and best built in the city. 

Rev. Eliphalct Noil was chosen president in 

Dr. Nott found Uic college wanting both means 
and studenls. The inhabitants of Schenectady 
had proposed an endowment of $30,000 in lands, 
obligations and money; but the largest subscrip- 
tion was only S^SO, the next Jioo, and the total 
sum altogether, from sources other than direct gift 
of the Slate, but 442,043.74 Grants were made 
by the Stale as follows: 

April 9, 1795. for books and apparatus. $3,730; 
April u, 1796, for buildings, $10,000; March 30, 
1797, for salaries, $1,500; March 7, 1800, for 

crrr of schenectadt.—edvcational. 

completion of building, $10,000; March 7, 1600, 
ten lots, of 550 acres each, in the military tract, 
for support of president and professors, {43.483.- 
93; April 8, 1801, and April 3, 1803, sale of gar- 
rison lands near Lake George, J9.378.zo. Total 
granis liefore 1804. $78,112.13. 

The building, b^un under President Edwards, 
in 1792, was still unfinished, and the college was 
burdened with a heavy debL II was completed 
during tlie first year of Dr. Noll's incumbency. 
Ilie original cost, including ihe sile, was $60,000. 
It contained a residence for the president, the 


chapel, library and recitation-rooms, and a consid- 
erable number of dormitories. In 1815 il was 
sold to the cily and county for a courl-liouse, jail 
and cily offices, and, while [bus owned, was com- 
monly known as the "City Hall." The college 
received in payment 3,000 acres of land, in de- 
tached parcels, in various parts of Schenectady 
County. In 1S31 il was repurchased by llie college 
for $ and used for library, cabinets and 
residents of freshmen and sophomore classes until 
1854, It was then resold to the city for the sum 
of 56,000, and is now known as "Union School." 
Between 1805 and 1810 a row of two-story brick 
buildings was erected on College street for use of 
dormitories. It was known as "Long College," 
and was sold in 1830. The means ihat had been 
provided were quite inadequate to the wants of a 
prosperous college, and to supply the needed en- 
dowment recourse was had to an expedient, now 
forbidden by a better public sentiment, but then 
deemed proper, for raismg funds in aid of every 
religious, educational and benevolent enterprise of 
the day and for public improvements. Il was 
therefore deemed advisable to urge the passage of 
a law, which was secured March 30, 1805, for rais- 
ing the sum of J8o,ooo by lottery. This sum was 
to be drawn by four successive lotteries of $10,000 
each. The act directed S35.000 to be applied to 
the erection of additional buildings; an equal sum 

10 be invested, llie interest to be applied lo the 
support of professorships, and the remaining 
$io,ooo lo be invested, one-half of the proceeds 
for a classical library and the balance to^^'ard de- 
fraying the expenses of indigent scholars. It ap- 
pears, from a legislative report made in 1814, that 
but §55,ooo were realized from this granL 

A few years" experience showed tiiat the location 
in the city was not sufficiently ample, and the ob- 
serving eye of Dr. Nott, at an early period in his 
presidency, had noticed in the suburbs a better 
one, that combined in rare degree every advantage 

A tract of some 250 acres was secured, and new 
buildings begun, on College Hill, in iSiz, and 
were occupied in part in the summer of 1 814. To 
provnde the means for these improvements, and for 
a substantial endowment, application was made to 
tlie Stale for another grant of a kind similar to the 
last An act was accordingly passed, largely 
through the efforts of Dr. Noll, for raising the 
sum of 3300,000 for Union College and consid- 
erable sums for other institutions. 0( the sum al- 
lowed to Union College there was specially given : 

For the erecdon of buildings, $100,000; for 
pa)Tnent of existing debts, $30,000; for library and 
apparatus, $zo,ooo; for relief of indigent students. 
50,000. Total, including all sums previously given 
by the State, $331,612,13. 


The proceedings consequent upon these trans- 
actions extended through many years, and the 
drawings of the lotteries were not entirely closed 
until the end of 1833. 

From the time of completion of buildings on the 
new site the college entered upon a season of gen- 
eral prosperity, and the unusually large proportion 
in the senior classes shows a fact well known 
throughout the country, that many students, after 
passing through the lower classes elsewhere, came 
hither to enjoy the instruction of Dr. Nott, and 
receive from him their first degree. 

The advancing age of Dr. Nott led to the calling, 
in 1851, of the Rev. Laurens P. Hickok, D. D., 
from the Auburn Theological Seminary to serve as 
vice-president, and upmn him gradually devolved 
the cares of the presidency, although they were 
not actually conferred in name until after the death 
of Dr. Nott, in 1866. 

Skmi-Centennial of the College. — This event 
in the history of the college was celebrated in con- 
nection with the commencement exercisesin 1845. 
The occasion called together an immense number 
of the alumni and literary strangers, to receive whom 
the common council extended the hospitality of 
the city, and all the principal citizens opened their 
houses to receive guests. The Rev. Josh. Sweet- 
man, of the first class graduated, and the Rt Rev. 
Alonzo Potter, of the class of 1818, then recently 
elected Bishop of Pennsylvania, delivered addresses 
on thi 

Sbh I -Centennial of Dr. Notts PREsmENCv. — 
This occasion was celebrated on the 25th of July, 
1854. As on ihe previous gathering, the hospital- 
ities of the city were tendered to the returning sons 
of Union, and to the literary strangers called to- 
gether by so unusual an event The address of 
Dr. Nott was a compact and interesting review of 
the labors, joys and trials of the last fifty years. 
The principal orators of the occasion were Ihe 
Re\-. Francis WaylanJ, President of Brown Uni- 
versity* and the Hon. Wm. W. Campbell, of 
Cherry \'alley. 

Recent History.— On the retirement of Dr. 
Hickok, Charles A. Aiken, D.D., of Dartmouth 
College, was chosen president, and he filled the 
duties with acceptance until 1871, when, for do- 
mestic reasons, he resigned ; and in the selection 
of a successor, the choice fell upon the Rev. Eliph- 
alelNott Potter, D. D., the grandson of Dr. Nott 
and son of Bishop Alonzo Potter, 

With the declining years of Dr. Nott the number 
of students decreased, and during llie lale war ihe 
college was nearly stripped of its students by the 
withdrawal of the whole number from the South, 
while many from the North were attracted to new 
institutions that were competing for favor. It be- 
came a subject of serious thought on the part of 
those intrusted with the affairs of Union College 
as to how the cmei^ency was to be met, and 
no plan appeared more feasible than that of 
yielding to the progressive spirit of the age by 
enlarging its facilities, extending 
Study, and, in the best sense of the 

jsident Eliphstet 

Pkeskkt Bi'ilulvcs.— The principal buildings of 
Union College are North College and South Col- 
lege, six hundred feet apart, and each with a colon- 
nade lacing inward : a memorial hall midway be- 
tween but =tan.lir. ■ '■ I ■' . 'i:;mlred feel from 

the front line ; a gymn.isium in the rear ol South 
College T a president's house, and three other 
dwellings on the line with the main college build- 
ings, and 3 professor's residence at some distance 
east of the principal group of buildings; also a 

crrr of schenectadk^educatiosal. 

semi-circular building lacing wcalward on the 
campus, the centre of which is used for the library 
and the wings for recitation rooms. 

PitESENr GkoirNos. — The original grounds ac- 
quired for college nses have been somewhat re- 
duced by railroad and street improvement, but 
are scarcely liable lo further encroachmenl, and 
are amply sufficient for every probable want. They 
embrace about one hundred and thirty acrea, in- 
cluding the campus, gardens and grounds properly 
belonging to tlic college and essential for its use, 
besides some one hundred acres of woodlands and 
fields adjoining. 

College Brook. 

Othek Rkai. Estate.— The college owns con- 
siderable land in Long Island City, that was pur- 
chased by Dr. Nott for Uniun College from the 
Hunter family, after whom Hunier's Point was 
named. The pro|>crly has been laid out in streets 
and building lots, and graded. It extends about 
half a mile along Newtown Creek, and has a front- 
age on the East River of about half a mile. The 
property consists of several hundred building lots. 
In 1873 this property was considered to be worth 
a million dollars. The eslimaies now put upon it 

In addition to the Long Island City land, the 
college owns three lots on One Hundred and 
Eighteentli streel, and a house and lot on Fourth 
avenue, in New York City. 

Courses of Stuhv. — The "classical course" of 
study usual in first-tiass colleges is now pursued 
in Union. In 1802 tlie required studies for the 
first, second and third terms of the freshman class 
were "Latin, Greek and English languages, arith- 
metic, Sheridan's Lectures on Elocution, and the 

writing of Latin exercises as the faculty shall ap- 
point." "For the Sophomore year, geography, 
algebra, vulgar and decimal fractions, the extrac- 
tion of roots, conic sections, Euclid's Elements, 
trigonometry, surveying, mensuration of heights 
and distances, navigation, logic, Blair's Lectures, 
and such parls of eminent authors in the learned 
languages as the officers of the college shall sub- 
scribe. " 

A Department of Engineering was established 
in 1845; its course of instruction aiming to impart 
skill and experience in mechanical drafting, instru- 
mental field-work, and numerical calculation, com- 
bined with the study of text-books and lectures on 
numerous subjects where these are wanting. This 
course was afterward extended to four years, and 
intermingled with the scientific course of ihecollege 
proper. This department is unusually well sup- 
plied with models, the most important of which is 
the original Oliver collection, purchased in Paris, 
France, in 1855. 


now so popular in many colleges, originated with 
Dr. Noti, and was first introduced in Union Col- 
lege. The plan was looked upon with much dis- 
trust at first by other educators, but its benefits 
soon came to be appreciated and it was gradually 
adopted by other colleges. The system has proved 
tis excellency and justifies the foresight of its origi- 
nator. The scientific course of Union College has 
always maintained a first position among the edu- 
cational institutions of the country. 


A laboratory was established for chemical analysis 
in 1855, at a cost of about $7,000 for fixtures and 
$10,000 for chemicals and other stock. It has been 
successively in charge of Professors C. E. Joy, C. F. 
Chandler, and of Maurice Perkins, M. D., the 
present incumbent 


In 1873 Union College applied to the War De- 
partment requesting that an officer of the Enpneer 
Corps might be detailed for the purpose of giving 
militar>- instruction, in puisuance of the policy fa- 
vored by act of Congress, with the view of inducing 
colleges to supplement in some degree the work 
of the military academy in this department of use- 
ful knowledge. The Government has, in accord- 
ance with this request, supplied the college with 
muskets and equipments for drill and instruction, 
under a commissioned officer of the army. A 
plain, inexpensive uniform has been adopted, and a 
couiBC of military instruction has been added to the 
college curriculum without abating anything from 
the course of studies formerly prescribed. The 
drill is regarded chiefly as a physical training. 


Union College has at present two literary socie- 
ties with libraries— the Philomathian Society, 
formed in 1 793 by th« young men of the town in 
the old academy building before the college charter 
was granted, possessing a library of 3,000 volumes; 




the Adelphic Society, founded in 1797, and its 
library, containing about 3,000 volumes; eight 
** Greek letter" societies, some of which originated 
with this college; and a chapter of **Phi Beta 
Kappa Society," established here in 181 7, and is a 
strictly honorary society. There is also a * * Sen- 
ate," formed for purpose of debate on political sub- 
jects, consisting of the Senior class. The rules of 
order and method of procedure are modeled, as 
near as may be, after those of the Senate of the 
United States. 

An Alumni Association was formed in 1857, and 
has several branches. A modification of the char- 
ter was procured in 1871, by granting to the 
alumni a representation in the board of trustees, so 
that now there are four graduates holding that 
trust, one being chosen annually for a term of four 
years. The election is held on alumni day, the 
one preceding commencement, in the college 


Under an act passed in 18 14, the sum of fifty 
thousand dollars was set apart as a fund, the income 
of which has ever since been applied in aiding 
young men of narrow means. This fund has been 
increased by several benefactions. Miss Catherine 
LWolf, of New York City, hasgiven fifty thousand 
dollars in pursuance of a purpose entertained by 
her deceased father, Mr. John David Wolf, for aid- 
ing the education of young men from the Southern 
States. Dr. John McClelland (class of 1832), of 
New York City, influenced largely by the aid he 
had himself received while in college, hasgiven fifty 
thousand dollars, and a worthy son of Union Col- 
lege has placed a bequest of thirty thousand dol- 
lars in his will to endow an emeritus professorship. 


To a large class of students Union College pre- 
sents extraordinary advantages in its numerous 
scholarships. In the scholarships of the first grade 
the incumbents, on condition of good conduct 
and satisfactory application to study, receive at the 
end of each term a credit on the books of the regis- 
trar to the full amount of term bills. 

In the scholarships of the second grade, the in- 
cumbents, on the same condition, receive a credit 
to the amount of half the term bills. 

These scholarships are accessible, under certain 
restrictions, to all who present the requisite certi- 
ficates of character and sustain the examinations 
required for admission to the regular classes of the 


Among the several classes of scholarships 
founded by the late Dr. Nott — a few of which only 
are yet actually founded, but their ultimate endow- 
ment is secured by the prospective sale of valuable 
lands — is a class of prize scholarships granted ac- 
cording to certain prescribed rules. The pecuniary 
emolument of a prize scholarship is thirty-five dol- 
lars a term, or four hundred and twenty dollars 
for the whole college course, a provision which 
enables the incumbent, after paying his college 
bills, to retain the sum of one hundred and twenty 

The possession of a prize scholarship demands, 
thoughout the whole course, high standing as a 
student in all respects; and the incumbent is for- 
bidden to use intoxicating liquor as a beverage, 
and tobacco in all its forms. Some of these scholar- 
ships enable the student to pursue post-graduate 
studies for a certain time. 


There are a number of prizes given at commence- 
ment, consisting of medals, money or books, 
awarded for proficiency in oratory, essays and de- 
portment, some of which can be competed for by 
the seniors only ; others by the juniors and 


There are three libraries connected with the 
institution, of which the college library proper con- 
tains about 20,000 volumes, the Philomathian 
Society library about 4,000 volumes, and the 
Adelphic Society about 3,000 volumes. 


The college has long been a center of special 
interest for students of natural history. In 1841 it 
received a large collection of minerals and fossils 
from the State cabinet In i860 the "Wheatley 
Collection " of shells and minerals, worth more 
than $20,000, was presented by E. C. Delevan. 
Large and valuable additions of specimens were 
added by Prof. H. E. Webster as the results of his 
labors in dredging on the coasts of Maine, 
Massachusetts, Virginia and Florida, 


In this department the collections, under the care 
of Prof. John Foster, have grown to be among the 
finest in the country. The donations of friends 
have added largely to the collection, but the princi- 
pal part has been purchased by the friends of the 
college or by special funds raised for this purpose. 


Memorial Hall affords a fine opportunity for the 
preservation and display of works of art, a consid- 
erable collection of which is already procured. 
Through a liberal annual gift of Miss Catharine L. 
Wolfe, of New York, the prospect that this depart- 
ment will become unusually fine is promising. 


This feature of college literature deserves notice. 
For many years they were floating waifs. Some of 
them were productions of real merit A few of 
these songs are perennial in their fragrance and are 
always sung on festive occasions. The song of 
**01d Union," composed by Fitzhugh Ludlow, 
class of 1856, is always sung on commencement 
day at the close of the graduating services. The 
hearty good-will and feeling with which returning 
sons join in the grand chorus : 

" Then herc^s to thee, the brave and free, 
Old Union smiling o*er us ; 
And for many a day, as thy walls grow gray. 
May they ring with thy children's chorus." 

show that the gifted poet did not attune his lyre in 



About forly years after ihe incorporation of 
Union College, the people of Albany conceived ihe 
idea of establishing a series of post-gniduiite institu- 
tions at the capital, and began by the founding of 
the "Albany Medical College." April 14, 1838. 

The "Albany Law School" was incorporated in 


The "Dudley Observatoiy" was incorporated in 

The above institutions, tt^ether with "Union 
College," were incorporated as " Union University " 
in 1873. 

" The Albany College of Pharmacy" is also a 
part of the University. 

Officials. — -President ad interim, Hon. Judson 
S, Landon, LLD., of Schenectady. President- 
elect, Rev, Joseph TuLtle Durjea, D.D., Pastor 
of the Central Congregational Church of Boston, 

Trustees. — Rev. Dr. J. Trumbull Backus, 
Hon. E. A, Paige, Hon. Piatt Potter, Hon. Jud- 
son S. Landon, of Schenectady ; Hon. Fred. 
Townsend, Albany; Rev. Dr. Wm. Irwin, Troy; 
Rev. Dr. J. L. Reese, W. H. H. Moore, Hon. 
David Murray, LL.D., Albany; Rev. Dr. Denis 
Wortman, Saugerties ; Hon. L, W. Rhodes, Troy; 
Col. D. C. Robinson, P.lmira ; Rev. Dr. George 
Alexander, Hon. Hooper C Van \'oast, Silas B. 
Brownell, Thomas W. Featherstonehaugh, New 
York ; Rev. Dr. E. Nott Potter, Geneva ; Dr. P. 
R. J-'urbeck, Glovereville ; and the officers of the 
Slate of New York, ex-officio. 

Professoks. — Henry Whitehome, A.M., Greek 
Language and Literature ; Wm. Wells, A.M., Ph. 
D., Modem Languages; Maurice Perkins, A.M., 
Chemistry ; Cady Staley, A.M. , C. E., Civil En- 
gineering ; Samuel B. Howe, Principal Union 
School ; Chas. S. Halsey, A.M., Principal 
Classical Institute; Sidney G. Ashmore, A.M., 
I^tin ; First Lieutenant, First Artillery, Henry W. 
Hubbell, U. & A., MiHtory Science ; Winficld S. 
Chaplin, A.M., Mathematics and Physics (Knight 
of the Rising Sun, Japan) ; W. E. Griffis. D.D., 
Mental Science, Adjunct Professor ; James R. 
Truax, Rhetoric and English Literature ; Henry F. 
Depcw, Adjunct Professor, Mathematics ; Rev. 
Rudolph Farber, Hebrew. 

Acting Treasurer. — Cady Staley. 

Registrar. — Mrs. M. L Peissner. 

Carlyle says that the history of the world is the 
biography of its great men. This applies with 
peculiar force to the life of Eliphalet NotL He 
was born in .\shford, Windham Counlj-, Con- 
necticut, June 25, 1773. At the lime of his 
death, January 29, 1866, he had occupied the po- 
sition of President of Union College for sisly-lwo 
years, a period without parallel in the history of 
our literary institutions. He had long stood in 
the foremost rank of American educators. His 
reputation as a pulpit orator was hardly less dis- 
tinguished; while as a reformer and philanthro- 
pist he had now an honorable position among the 

benefoctoTS of bis kind. Such a life well deserves 
a written memorial. 

In 1804 a young Presbyterian clergyman, 
Eliphalet Nott, was called to the presidency of 
Union College. A year before the organization of 
the college he had passed from Connecticut 
through Albany to a new settlement in Cherry 
Valley, where he became pastor and teacher. He 

Eliphalet Nott 

was soon called to Albany, where, in 1804, he 
made the most fortunate effort of his life, which 
told greatly upon his future career. His sermon 
upon the death of Hamilton, at the hands of Burr, 
stamped him as one of the rising men of the 
period, and he was at once called to the presidency. 
President Nott found the college in imperative 
need of means and students. He soon app>ealcd 
to the State for aid, and thus laid the foundation 
of measures which resulted in training the legis- 
lators and the pixiplc of the commonwealth to 
consider the matter of popular and higher educa- 
tion as the paramount duty of a Republican 
GovernmenL The college was soon so rapidly 
increasing in numbers under his management that 
new buildings became a necessity, and the site now 
occupied by the college was obtained. During 
1814 Dr. Nott succeeded in having a bill passed 
by the Legislature of the State, by which Union 
College waslo have $200,000. In this period this 
was a princely sum for such purposes. The dis- 
cussion attending the passage of this measure at- 
tracted the attention of the whole State, during 
which the movement in favor of establishing com- 
mon schools became so popular that men who 
were first opposed to it began to tone down their 
opposition. The president watched the bill day 
by day, and from this period, down through the 
days of Marcy, Silas Wright and Seward, ibe in- 
fluence of Dr. Nott at the capital was veiy potent, 
and aided greatly in advancing the wcltare of the 
institution. It is not our purpose to relate in 
detail the grand educational work of this man. 
The best years of his long life were given, un- 

reservedly, lo the enhancement or the college. 
He had time for other and important things. 
He was a leader in temperance teachings, bis 
sympathies were loyal during the Civil War, and in 
the counsels of his own religious denomination, as 
well as others, his advice was often sought. His 
Christian sympathy and charity identified him in 
a practical way with every movement for moral 
and religious advancement. 

Dr. Nott was a genius in the line of mechanical 
invention, and the utilisation of the latent wealth 
of theconnlty. " He was among ihe first to aid 
and supplement the labors of Fulton, in his ef- 
forts lo introduce steam navigation on the Hudson 


River, and tlic steamer 'Novelty,' which was 
lai^ely constructed under his guidance, came from 
New York to Albany at a speed that astonished 
the age." In these efforts to improve and intro- 
duce machinery, and especially to utilize the newly 
discovered power of steam, Dr. Nott's attention 
was largely directed to the production and materials 
of combustion for mechanical and domestic pur- 
poses. The famous " Nott " stoves were long in 
use at the college, and gained, for a time, a broad 
public popularity, Albany and Troy owe their pre- 
eminence in the stove manufacture not a little to 
his immediate presence and counsel. 

The countenance of Dr. Nott was a striking one, 
even in its repose; the eye, which was of a grayish 

) easily and gracefully, 
lo be nature instead of 
with some, the character 
that he 

color, and capable of great variety of expression, 
being one of its most marked features. His fore- 
head was high and straight, nose prominent and 
aquiline, and the mouth and chin well-formed and 
symmetiical. He was nearly six feet high, with a 
stalwart frame. In his intercourse with students, 
his quick sympathy with youth was very marked. 
The stem aspect of one Jealous of authority was 
notseen in the class-room. He had a way of pass- 
ing from grave lo gay s 
that it was at once seen 
studied art. He obtained, 
of an adroit manager, 
reached his ends, at limes, by indirect methods 
but those most femiliar with him unite in their 
testimony to his truthfulness and honor. By ne- 
cessity he was discreet, cautious and wary. He 
knew men and how to approach, move and con- 
vince them. His method of doing this was his> 
own. He was a scholar, a teacher and an inventor; ' 
but it was, however, as a man, a great souled, 
energetic, practical man, intent on making other 
energelic, practical men, who should leave their 
mark upon their times, as he has done, that be 
chiefly claims our admiration. No bclier epitaph 
can be written of him than the words applied by 
an oralor to General Grant: '• He is great by the 
arduous greatness of things done." 


For nearly thirty years the figure of Taylql 
Lewis was among the most prominent and sin" ' 
ing upon the streets of Schenectady, and with 
ihe enclosures of Union College. His presence 
was not such as impressed by muscular vigor 
or accumulated ttesh and blood. His physical 
frame was slight in build, and his air was that of ij 
studious scholar, to whom vigorous or violent t 
ercise was unknown. Yet it was not that of n i 
cluse, but gave even the casual observer the i 
pression of a man among men who knew what 
was in man. Thoroughly acquainted with human 
nature, Tajler Lewis chose to sway the public by 

ncal ■! 





thought and argument, rather than by personal con- 
tact or by dramatic action. In his later years, 
when his hearing ceased, this was a necessity. De- 
barred from social converse with his fellows, the 
pen became the potent instrument of his influence, 
and in his venerable old age a real sceptre of 

In his prime, his voice swayed assemblies, and 
during nearly a half-century of his life as a teacher 
he spoke with wisdom, tact, and mastery. 

Though a scholar whose fame was world-wide, 
Tayler Lewis did not become a familiar figure in 
the local history of Schenectady until the outbreak 
of the great civil war in 1861. Long known as an 
earnest friend of Africa and the Africans in America, 
he yet had conservative views in the matter of slav- 
ery. The outbreak of the slaveholders' rebellion 
was to him a revelation by divine light upon those 
questions which the civil war brought to solution. 
He became a hearty supporter of the Union cause, 
and a prophet who cried aloud and spared not. In 
the dark days, when the defeat of the Union armies 
made the home traitors exultant, Tayler Lewis 
lifted up his voice like a trumpet, and showed the 
iniquity of secession and the righteousness of the 
Union caus6. Like bugle blasts were his constantly 
issuing editorials, letters, addresses and books, in- 
spiring alike the hearts of young and old. His 
' * State Rights, a Photograph from the Ruins of 
Ancient Greece" powerfully affected the minds of 
patriots, and ^' The Heroic Periods in a Nations 
History*' welcomed home the returning veterans. 
The loss of his son-in-law, Colonel Elias Peissner, 
at Chancellorsville, kept the flame of his patriotism 
at white heat until the day of his death. Tayler 
Lewis loved his country with romantic ardor and 
an intensity of devotion rarely surpassed. He ex- 
ercised great influence over S. G. Hamlin, the fear- 
less editor of the Schenectady Union, many a time 
encouraging him to boldness and courage of utter- 
ance in the trying times that followed the war. 
Often at midnight, with quivering frame and flash- 
ing eyes, he would seek the young editor to cheer, 
encourage and provoke him to be equal to the 
political situation. Sallying out with his cane be- 
hind his back and thrust between the elbows, while 
his hands were clasped over his breast, he would 
pace the streets, meditating his argument or ful- 
minating some thunderbolt which the next day 
would sway hearts or strike conviction. So 
do many people of our city remember Tayler Lewis, 
a venerable man, yet full of energy and fire, with 
long gray hair that fell over his collar, eyes deep-set 
that shot forth eamestness,slight body in long black 
coat of clerical cut, with meditative air and walk, 
in speech and in writing closely approaching one's 
idea of a prophet of the old times, yet of this 
century's garb and mien. 

Let us glance at his life as a scholar and Chris- 
tian. Bom in Northumberland, Saratoga County, 
N. Y., March 27, 1802, he prepared for Union 
College under Dr. Proudfit, and was graduated at 
Union College in 1820. He studied law with 
Judge S. A. Foot, in Albany, and commenced 
practice at Fort Miller in 1824. He was not, 

however, in his natural element, and took greater 
pleasure in the study of the classics. Under the 
influence of Rev. George Mair, he began the study 
of Hebrew, following it up with absorbed delight. 
Turning aside from law to letters, he became prin- 
cipal of the Academy at Waterford in 1833. He 
married on May i8th of the same year. He spent 
two years (1837-39) in Ogdensburg, and was 
called to the Chair of Greek in the University of 
New York. In 1849, after the delivery of an ad- 
dress, ** Faith, the Life of Science," before the 
Phi Beta Kappa Society of Union College, he 
was made Professor of Greek at his Alma Mater's 
home, and henceforth resided in Schenectady. 
Later, he filled the Chair of Oriental Biblical Lit- 
erature, retaining this position until his death. 
Space does not allow us to speak in detail of Pro- 
fessor I^wis' attainments as a scholar, nor of his 
versatility, accomplishments, native ability or 
literary achievements, except as they have a bearing 
on local history. In early life he became a mem- 
ber, in full communion, of the Reformed Dutch 
Church, and so continued until the last As an 
elder he attended her consistory and class meet- 
ings. His seat in the First Relormed Church in 
Schenectady was on the west side, near the 
Bancker screen. In this church, in front of the 
pulpit, now stands a memorial baptismal font, in 
dark red marble, erected chiefly by his fellow- 
members of the Old Testament Company of Bible 
Revision. It is inscribed, near the base : '* Tayler 
Lewis. In Memoriam. Ab. Amicis Multis. In 
pacem. M ay 1 1 th, 1 8 7 7. " H is favorite text — ' ' I 
know that my Redeemer liveth" — is incised in 
Hebrew characters on the polished rim of the bowl. 

An eager and life-long student, Tayler Lewis was 
a master of many subjects. In the higher mathe- 
matics, in astronomy, music, philosophy and 
languages, he was at home, and used his attain- 
ments as instruments of pleasure. With the Greek 
and Latin he was as familiar as with his mother 
tongue, and in the Semitic languages he had no 
superior in America, while in Arabic he was with- 
out a peer. Among the revisers of the Old Testa- 
ment he was, except Dr. Strong, the only layman 
in attendance at the sessions. In the work on 
Lange's Commentary he was selected by Dr. Schaff 
to furnish the introduction and notes on Genesis, 
and the metrical versions of Job and Ecclesiastes. 
His '*Six Days of Creation" was a true epoch- 
maker, and anticipated by a whole generation the 
current interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis. 
Despite an avalanche of hostile criticism it emerged 
scathless, and is now recognized as a masterpiece 
of sound argument and prophetic utterance. It is 
still printed. 

Omnivorous in his tastes, Tayler Lewis fed his 
mind in all fields of literature, and sought recrea- 
tion, not in bodily exercises, but in intellectual 
variety. He enjoyed fun, humor, caricature, and 
refreshed himself with light literature. A bundle of 
books for a morning's reading in vacation time, in 
Jackson's garden, might include his Hebrew Bible, 
Syriac New Testament, The Arabian Nights in the 
original Arabic, Romola, and a novel or two from 



the press of yesterday. In his last sickness, amid 
the agonies of sciatica, he would conquer pain by 
absorbing his mind in working out profound 
mathematical problems. He was a profound and 
brilliant Christian scholar, who, if not always in 
accord with the spirit of the age, was ever in har- 
mony with the spirit of the ages. 

On the dome of the Memorial Hall of Union 
College, in Hebrew and Latin letters, chosen and 
actually wrought in the slate-work by Taylor Lewis 
himself, is the motto which illustrates the great 
scholar's life principles : 

The time is short, 
The work is vast, 
The reward is great, 
The Master is pressing. 

Isaac W. Jackson was born at Cornwall, Or- 
ange County, N. Y., August 28, 1804. Both of 
his parents were members of the Society of Friends. 
He was sent in his seventeenth year to the Albany 
Academy; completed his studies there with the 
highest honors; entered Union College, where he 
attained high standing in the classics, and from 
which, in 1826, in his twenty-second year, he 
graduated with the first honors in mathematics and 
chemistry. He was at once appointed a tutor in 
the college. 

During his collegiate course he founded and 
maintained a society for social and literary pur- 
poses. In succeeding years other like associations 
were formed, and hence Union College has been 
called the mother of the Greek -letter societies of 
the country. He was promoted to be professor 
of mathematics in Union College in 183 1. He 
published books on trigonometry, optics, conic 
sections and mechanics, which were adopted in 
American colleges, and in one important British 

As an executive officer of the college, he was 
prompt, energetic, ever-watchful, selecting his 
measures judiciously, and pursuing them with dis- 
cretion. In his general intercourse he was social 
and genial. He was always neatly and simply 
attired; slight in form, well built and active, with 
clear, piercing eyes looking out from under a large 
and prominent brow; his head finely developed; 
his voice frank and friendly. 

The science and art of horticulture were the de- 
light and solace of his life. Valuable works on 
this subject made up a large part of his library. 
His life centered in, and was mainly bound by, his 
college. It was passed in his family circle, his 
study, his class-room, or with members of the 
faculty. He was always sympathetic, especially 
so with the sorrowing and the needy. Professor 
Henry, late of the Smithsonian Institution, who 
was his fellow student in boyhood, and his life- 
long correspondent, said that he was 'Mhe truest 
and most generous soul he ever knew." Fulfilling 
the duties of his position ably, faithfully, content- 
edly, no achievements of wealth or fame could 
have brought him wider usefulness or higher hap- 
piness. Thousands of the educated men of the 
country attest their gratitude for his aid in the de- 
velopment of mind and character. 

In 1876 Professor Jackson had completed a 
term of service in the college of fifty years. This 
event was made the occasion of a notable tribute 
of respect from his friends and former pupils. It 
was on this occasion that Dr. Tayler Lewis deliv- 
ered one of his most remarkable addresses. 

The titles of Professor Jackson's publications 
are: i. Elements of Conic Sections; 2, Elementary 
Treatise on Optics; 3, Elementary Treatise on 
Mechanics. The honorary degree of Doctor of 
Laws was conferred on him by Hobart College. 
His death took place July 28, 1877. 

John Foster, now the senior professor of Union 
College, was born August 18, 181 1, at Hebron, 
Washington County, N. Y. His parents were 
Scotch-Irish. His earliest schooling was at the 
county district school of Hebron. In the winters 
of 1828, 1829 and 1830 he taught in the district 
schools of Argyle and Salem, and in the summers 
pursued his studies of Latin and Greek under the 
Rev. James Irvine, of Hebron. In the spring of 
1831 he went to the academy at Fairfield, Herki- 
mer County. Here he studied mathematics and 
classics till the close of the summer term of 1832, 
after which he became an assistant in the academy. 
He entered the junior class of Union College in 
1834, and graduated July, 1835. He resumed 
teaching at the Fairfield Academy even before his 
graduation, and continued during the following 
year, teaching almost all branches, and working 
about ten hours daily. 

In the fall of 1836 Mr. Foster was appointed 
tutor in Union College, and was placed in charge 
of the building called West College. The fresh- 
man and sophomore classes were domiciled at this 
building, and Tutor Foster's duty was to look 
after these two classes. For about a year he held 
this place, and then, having an offer to take charge 
of the North Pearl Street Academy for Boys in Al- 
bany, he spent about a year in this work; but 
in the winter of 1838 he returned to Union Col- 
lege, and took charge again of West College. He 
had classes in algebra, geometry, trigonometry 
and conic sections, and besides this he taught 
classes in Latin and Greek. After the death of Pro- 
fessor Eaward Savage in 1 840, Mr. Foster was ap- 
pointed Adjunct-Professor of Natural Philosophy, 
and gave instructions in the ** Cambridge Mechan- 
ics." Soon after he began to give lectures to vol- 
untary classes on electricity, magnetism, galvanism, 
electro-magnetism and acoustics. These subjects 
were subsequently added to the regular course, 
and on these Professor Foster has continued to 
give lectures. He also issued for the use of his 
classes a syllabus of his lectures, which forms a 
text-book on the subject. About 1842 Professor 
Foster organized a voluntary class, to whom he 
taught astronomy and surveying and leveling. 
This led to the establishment in 1845 of the De- 
partment of Civil Engineering, to which Professor 
W. M. Gillespie was appointed. 

In the spring of 1867 Professor Foster visited 
Europe. He visited the Universities of Bonn, 
Heidelberg, Munich and Zurich, and spent consid- 


erable time at Paris. After his return he devoted 
himself to building up the scientific apparatus of 
his department. He obtained from the graduates 
of the college, mostly his old students, about 
$5,000, which he spent in the purchase of appa- 
raius. He visited Europe again in 1S74, author- 
ized by the Board of Trustees lo expend 
$6,000 in physical apparatus. He visited the 
principal workshops of London and Paris, making 
selections and giving orders. Alter an extended 
tour he returned with such a variety of new and 
useful apparatus as lo place the collection of Union 
College among the best in the country. 

Among the students who have passed under his 
instruction he has a reputation as a teacher of 
unusual force. Being himsell a man of great 
industry, he expects and usually secures a large 
amount of good work from his pupils. He is 
genial in his temperament, and kind hearted 
and ready to advise and help those who come to 
liim. Professor Foster was made Doctor of Laws in 
187a by the University of the City of New York. 

JoN.iTHAN Pearson, A.M., is by lineage an alien 
to the Dutch community whose annals he has so 
diligently explored. His descent can be traced 
through seven generations from the Puritan Fathers 
of New England. 

At some time previous to 1643, John Pearson, an 
English carpenter, settled in the town of Rowley, 
Essex County, Mass, There he erected a fulling 
mill, and became the first manufacturer ofclolh in 
the in&nt colony. He was evidently a substantial 
and leading citizen. He died near the close of the 
century. The family record for two hundred years, 
with its scriptural names, reads like a genealogical 
chapter in the Old Testament 

Caleb Pearson, the grandfather of Professor Pear- 
son, served through the revolutionary war. After 
its close he setded in Chichester, N. H., where, 
February 23, 1813, Jonathan was bom. When he 
was 18 years of age his father removed to Schenec- 
tady, N. Y. Jonathan had previously secured a 
preparatory education at Dover, Pembroke, and 
New Hampton, in the vicinity of his former home. 
In January, 1832, he entered L'nion College, and 
graduated with honor in 1835. The following 
year he was appointed tutor, and in 1839 Assistant 
Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy, In 
1849 he was elected Professor of Natural History, 
and in 1873 was transferred lo the Department of 
Agriculture and Botany, where he still serves. 
Thus, for more than half a centurj' his life has 
been incorporated with the life of his Alma Mater. 

In addition to the work of his department of in- 
struction, other onerous and responsible duties 
have devolved upon him. Since 1854 he has been 
Treasurer of the College, having in charge its 
varied and intricate financial interests. For years 
he has also held the office of Librarian, and has de- 
voted a vast amount of time and labor to the puz- 
zling and petty details of that tr}'Lng vocation. The 
preparation of the general catalogue of the college 
has always devolved upon him, and he has repaid 
the affectionate esteem of thousands of alumni by 

maintaining a constant interest in their individual 
fortunes. His mind is an encyclopedia of facts 

concerning the sons of Old Union. His diverse 
semces is sufficient proof of his versatility and tire- 
less industr)'. 

Hb antiquarian researches have been the recrea- 
tions of a busy life. The task of exploring the 
scattered and puzzling records of the Dutch families 
who founded the settlements at Albany and along 
the Mohawk Valley was one of unusual difliculty. 
He continued his labors in this field through many 
years. He first transcribed, translated, and collated 
the records of the Dutch Church in Schenectady, 
Ha\ing mastered the provincial dialect, he per- 
formed a similar work upon the records of the 
Dutch Church in Albany, and also of the County 
Clerk's Office. The results of these studies, and 
others of a like character, are embodied in his his- 
tories of the old families of Schenectady and 
Albany, published years ago, and to some extent in 
this history. 

It would be indelicate, in a sketch published 
during the lifetime of Professor Pearson, to refer to 
those incidents which belong more especially to his 
pri\-ate and domestic life, or to those qualities 
which have endeared him to his more intimate per- 
sonal friends. He has been for many years a faith- 
ful and active member of the Baptist Church, 
trusted and revered by all. As a son, a husband, 
and a father, his relations have been too tender and 
sacred to permit of comment here. Those who 
may sun'ive him, and have shared and prized his 
friendship, will wonder that they did not prize it 
more, when the genial and unobtrusive presence 
lives only in memoiy or immortal hope, 


The first printers in Schenectady were Cornelius 

P. Wyckoff and Brokaw, about the year 

1792. Their office was on the south corner of 
State and Washington streets. This firm continued 
until 1795. when Brokaw went out and Wyckoff 
continued the business alone. 

The first newspaper printed in Schenectady was 

The Mohawk Mercury. It was published aa 
early as February, 1796, and as late as 1798. It 
was probably started by C. P. Wyckoff, who pub- 
lished it as late as December, 1 797. Some time, 
probably in 1798, Wyckoff was succeeded in 
his business by John L Stevenson. \\'hether 
Stevenson continued to publish the Mohawk Mercury 
is not known. 

The Schtnectady Gazelle began to be published by 
J. I- Stevenson, January 6, 1799, on the corner of 
.\lbany (State) and Ferry streets, and December 
20, i8oz, he gave it the more comprehensive name 

The Western Spectator and Schenectady ' Weekly 
Advertiser, which was continued as late as May 23, 
1807, when he removed his printing office to 
Union street a few doors west of the Dutch 
(.'hurcli, and discontinued the paper. 



The Western Budget was issued by Van Veghten 
, & Son, at No. lo Union street, the next month 
following the discontinuance of the Western Spec- 
tator, The Budget continued three years, and the 
last year was issued by Isaac Riggs, and at about 
the same time, June, 1807, RyerS. Schermerhorn 
began the publication of 

The Mohawk Advertiser, and continued it at 
least three years, and was succeeded by T. John- 
son, who published it for W. S. Buel, at his book- 
store, near the comer of State and Ferry streets. 
Schermerhorn was the first native printer, and fol- 
lowed his trade for many years. He kept a small 
supply of books on sale at his office, and among 
publications which he issued was an edition of 
Smith's History of the State of New York, with ad- 

The Western Budget was continued by Isaac 
Riggs until June, 18 10, when he changed the 
name to the 

Schenectady Cabnet, In 1814 Isaac Stevens was 
associated with him for a short time, occupying 
No. 2 Cook's Row (No. 34), Ferry street Thence 
he removed to No. 23 Union street, next- east of 
the Dutch Church, which he occupied until his 
death as a dwelling, and for many years his print- 
ing office was under the same roof. In 1837 he 
was succeeded by his son, Stephen S. Riggs, who 
changed the name of the Cabnet to 

Freedonis Sentinel, under which name he con- 
tinued the paper until January, 1843, when he 
resumed the former name, calling the paper the 

Schenectady Cabnet and Freedom's Sentinel, which 
name it bore until January i, 1850, when it was 
again called the Schenectady Cabnet, and until it 
ceased to be published January i, 1856. 

The Miscellaneous Cabinet, a weekly publication 
of eight pages octavo, was begun in July, 1823, 
Isaac Riggs, printer. The first twenty-four num- 
bers are in Union College Library. Its contents 
were mainly literary selections, and original pro- 
ductions written mostly by the students of the 

The Mohawk Sentinel ^9^ begun June 24, 1824. 
It was printed by G. Ritchie, Jr., at the sign of 
Faust and Franklin's head, Ferry street, and is 
said to have been edited by Archibald L Linn, 
then a young lawyer of the city. This paper 
advocated the election of Mr. Crawford for the 

The Protestant Sentinel began June 11, 1830, 
and was printed and published by Rev. John Max- 
on, at No. 39 Slate street (now 64 and 66). It 
continued there but a few years and then removed 
elsewhere. It was understood to be the organ of 
the Seventh-day Baptist denomination. 

Schenectady Counfy Whig. — This paper was com- 
menced November i, 1830, at 34 Ferry street, by 
C. G. & A. Palmer, and continued till October, 
1834, when the paper and all the appurtenances of 
the printing office were sold to Nathan Stone, who, 
on the 1 8th of November following, assigned the 
paper to Giles F. Yates, Esq. 

Stone was the owner of the * ' Schenectady Book- 
store," on the west corner of State street and Mill 
lane. He published the Whig, at 77 State street, 
for ten weeks, the last number being issued De- 
cember 30th. Its direct descendant was 

The Reflector and Schenectady Democrat, the first 
number of which was issued January i, 1835. Mr. 
Yates made this a very entertaining family paper. 
During 1835-6 he published many valuable articles 
of an antiquarian and historical character. It was 
printed by Robert P. Paine, on the west comer of 
State street and Mill lane. In July, 1835, ^^ 
printing was done by Yates & Cook, the latter 
being associated with G. F. Yates. July i, 1838, 
E. H. Kincaid became proprietor of the Reflector 
for the next three and a half years, when, February 
5, 1841, Abraham A. Keyser purchased it at the 
commencement of Vol. VII., and David Cady 
Smith was associated with him as editor. 

The Schenectady and Saratoga Standard vi^s pub- 
lished about the year 1833, at 96 Washington 
street, by Israel Sackelt, printer, with Thomas Jef- 
ferson Sutherland, attorney at law. No. 14 Ferry 
street, as editor. Its principles were anti-masonic. 
After the first year the name was changed to The 
Saratoga and Schenectady Standard, and it was pub- 
lished in Ballston by the same printer. 

The Wreath, ''devoted to polite literature," was 
commenced November 22, 1834, by William H. 
Burleigh, proprietor and editor; Isaac Riggs, 
printer. It was a half-monthly of forty pages, and 
was issued about six months. During this time its 
name was changed to The Literary Journal, ** a re- 
pository of public literature and fine arts." It was 
published in Albany, Troy and Schenectady, and 
numbered consecutively with the Wreath, and con- 
tinued until June, 1835, perhaps a little longer. 
The articles were chiefly original. 

77ie Mohawker was published by Riggs & Norris 
in 1835. 

The Schenectady Star was published by Jesse & 
Daniel Stone, and this partnership was dissolved in 
October, 1835. 

TTie Antiquarian and General Review, a monthly 
magazine, mainly of a religious character, edited 
and published by Rev. Wm. Arthur (father of 
President Arthur), was begun in 1845 and 
continued two years, making two thin octavo 

Freeman s Banner , a political paper, was published 
during the presidential campaign of 1848. It was 
the organ of the party known as the ** Barn-burn- 
ers:" It was edited and published by Judge Piatt 

The Daily Ancient City was the first daily paper 
issued in this city, and commenced in 1852 by Mr. 
Riggs. It lived only a few months. 

The Schenectady Democrat ^w^ls begun January 3, 
1854, by William H. Coulbourne and W. N. 
Clark. In 1857 it was sold to A. J. Thompson, 
and in April, 1859, ^^ Cyrus Thayer, and united 
with the Reflector October, i860. The united 
paper was called The Schenectady Reflector and 


Democrat. It was published in 1864 at N'o. 134 
Slale street 

The Morning Star was the first successful daily 
established in this city. Its Urst issue appeared 
Februatj' 24, 1855. It was edited and published 
by Walter N. Clark and Wm. M. Colboume. Sep- 
tember 17th of the same year its lime of issue was 
changed from morning to evening and was called the 
Evening Slar, March 5, 1857, the firm of Colbome 
A Clark was dissolved, and Mr. Colborne took 
entire charge. During this year Isaac M. Gregory, 
now managing editor of the New fork Graphic, 
was ass(x:ialed with Coulboume in editing this 

About 1861 Mr. Colborne sold the paper to H. 
L. Grose, of Ballslon, who conducted it until 
1863, when it was sold toWm. D. Davis and Isaac 
M. Gregory. During the following year Mr. 
Gregory sold his interest to Davis, who continued 
proprietor till 1865, when the paper was sold to J. 
J. Marlette, under whose management it has re- 
mained ever since. Since 1S76 the publishing de- 
partment has been under the management of A. 
A. Marlette. Preceding its sale to Mr. Marlette 
Ihe Star had been Republican in politics, but since iis 
sale in 1 865 it has been an organ of the Democraiic 
party. In i860, when the Morning Gazelle was 
discontinued, that paper was purchased by the pro- 
prietor of the Slar, and for a lime the name 
Schemclady Evening Slar and Gazelle was as- 
sumed, but was soon aller changed to the original 
nami; of the Schenectady Evening Slar. 

The Schenectady Republicim, a weekly made out 
of the Evening Slar, was commenced in Septem- 
ber, 1857, by Wm. M. Colbome, with Judson S. 
Landon as editor. 

The Schenectady Daily News was begun April, 
1859, by I. W. Hoffman and E. F. Loveridge, 
and expired June, 1861. 

The Rttilsplitter, a political weekly paper, was 
published a few months during the fall of i860. 

The Schenectady Daily Times was commenced 
January, 1861, and united with the Evening Slar, 
in June of the same year, under the name of the 
Schenectady Daily Evening Star and Times, ant! was 
published in 1864 by W. D. Davis and Isaac M. 
Gregory, at No. 170 Stale street. 

In 1865 Mr. Davis, who was then sole proprie- 
tor, sold it to J. J. Marlette. 

The Schenectady Evening Slar. — A history of the 
paper will be found in the account of The' Morning 

The Schenectady Daily Union was started in No- 
vember, 1865, by Charles Stanford. During the 
exciting political events of this period, the Repub- 
lican party had no organ in this city, and this 
paper was started to meet this want Col. S. G. 
Hamlin was long connected with it as manning 
editor, being succeeded by Welton Stanford; 
Orvil F. Vedder was managing editor from 
April, 1882, to October 31, 1883, when it was 
sold to John A. Sleicher. May 15, 1884, it was 
sold to its present publisher, George W. Cottrell. 

The Dorpian was published in 1867. It was 
edited by A. A. Marlette and A. W. Kelly, Its 
publication was continued but a few months. 

The Schenectady Gasetle,^ weekly paper, was be- 
gan in 1869 by W. N. Thayer. In 187J James 
H. Wiseman and Harman Seymour were the pub- 
lishers. In 1874 it was purchased by G. W. Mar- 
lette and Wm. H. Lee. Mr. Lee subsequently 
withdrew from the partnership, since which lime it 
has been published by Mr. Marlette. 

The Deutscher Anzeiger, a weekly, published in 
the German language, was commenced by Ernst 
Knauer, at 176 State street, August tt, 1873, and 
is still published by the original proprietor. 

The Schenectady Daily Gazette was started by 
the proprietor of The Weekly Gazette, January i, 
1879, and ceased to be issued July %%, i88o, when 
it was sold and united with The Schenectady Even- 
ing Star. 

The Schenectady Weekly Union, made out of 
The Schenectady Daily Union, was started in con- 
nection with the daily in 1S65, and has been pub- 

The Locomotive Firemen Monthly Journal was first 
published in 1872 under the direction of the Inter- 
national Union of Locomotive Engineers. It was 
edited by Henry Hoffman until 1878, when it was 


'The Floriiid, published by the students of Union 
College in 1811. Vol. I,, Nos. 1-15, is in the 
Boston Public Library. 

The Students' Album, commenced in 1827, con- 
tained essays and tales, scientific items, and notices 
of new works. It was published half monthly by 
Isaac Riggs, at No. 10 Union street, and probably 
continued about sis months. It was of 8° size, 
and each number contained 16 pp. 

The Parthenon and Academian's Magazine. It 
began in 1832, and continued two years, forming 
two volumes 8°. Nine monthly numbers a year 
were issued. 

The Censor was published from November, 
1833, to May, 1834, one number each month, 8°. 

The Union College Magazine was commenced in 
June, i860, and was continued, with some inter- 
ruptions, until June, 1875. It was published 
under the joint auspices of the Philomathian, 
Adelphic, and Theological Societies, two editors 
being appointed by each. It was a very creditable 

One number appeared each college session, or 
three a year. In the third year there was begun 
a series of portraits, one in each number, of 
distinguished men once connected with the 

The College Spectator, a monthly publication, 
4", began April, 1872, and continued until De- 
cember, 1875. 

The Concordiensis succeeded the Spectator in 
November, 1877, and now continues. 



The Scroll began its publication in 1849. In 
May, 1850, its form was made smaller. 

Several other fugitive publications, such as T/ie 
Unonian, etc. , have been issued from time to time, 
but soon ceased. 

J. J. Marlette, editor of The Evening Siar and 
Weekly Refleclor, was bom in Onondaga County, 
N. Y., in 1822, and received his education at 
district schools. He came to this county in 1837, 
and to the city in 1852. He became connected 
with the Star in 1865. He has always taken a 
deep interest in public education and was for 
many years a leading member of the Board of 
Education of the city. 

Louis C. Beattie was bom in Chicago, 111., No- 
vember 9, 1856, removing to Schenectady in 1864. 
He received his education at public schools and 
Union College, and was admitted to the Bar in 
1877. He then followed his profession in New 
York, retuming to Schenectady in 1883, since 
which time he has been on the staff of The Daily 
Union and The Evening Star, Gifted with keen 
perception and a ready pen, his work is highly 


The first medical society of the county of Sche- 
nectady was organized in Schenectady, June 11, 
1 8 10. 

The society was formed under an act passed by 
the Legislature of New York, April 4, 1806, en- 
titled *'An act to incorporate medical societies for 
the purposes of regulating the practice of physic 
and surgery." The physicians and surgeons of each 
county of the State being thus empowered to join 
themselves into societies, those of this county met 
on the day first above given and enacted their by- 
laws and regulations. Under such, the society was 
to consist of a "President, Vice-President, Secre- 
tary, Treasurer, and not less than three nor more 
than fis^ Censors, to be chosen by ballot annually 
at the anniversary meeting of the society. " The 
president was '* to preside at all meetings, preserve 
order, put all questions, declare the decisions of the 
society, and in case of an equal division shall have 
the casting vote; he shall also appoint all commit- 
tees, unless the society choose to appoint them by 
special resolution." 

Article 5th provided that the ** Censors shall 
meet whenever notified * * * to examine all 
students in Anatomy, Physiolog)', Surgery, Mid- 
wifery, Materia Medica, Pharmacy, Theory and 
Practice of Physic and Chemistry." Not less than 
three censors to form such examining board. 

By article 6th, the stated meetings of the society 
were to be held on the *' second Tuesday in June, 
September, December and March,'' at 10 o'clock 
A. M. Special meetings could be held though at 
anytime **when the President, at the request of 
two of the members, shall order the Secretary to 
send to each member a notification " of the inten- 
tion of such meeting. Not less than five members 
constituted a quorum. A student, successful in his 
examinations before the Censors, received, upon 

the payment of two dollars, and signing the declara- 
tion prescribed by the State Medical Society, his 
diploma. It cost one dollar to become a member, 
and the annual dues were two dollars, payable 
quarterly, and for non-attendance at the stated 
meetings a fine of $1.00 was levied. 

We quote article 12th, as follows: **Any mem- 
ber who shall be convicted of base or dishonorable 
practices, tending to bring dishonor on himself 
or the profession, shall be expelled." From this it 
is uncertain whether *' convicted" appHed to a 
regular trial and conviction by civic or military 
authority, or whether it concerned only such ** dis- 
honorable practices " as could be adjudicated by the 
original society. 

To these by-laws and regulations the following 
names are signed: Thos. Dunlap, Dan'l J. Toll, 
Alex. G. Fonda, Cornl Vrooman, Robt. M. G. 
Walmsley, Abraham D'Lamater, John Wood, 
Dan'l McDougall, P. B. Noxon (?), J. J. Berkley, 

E. B. Sprague, J. W. Conklin, Stephen Reming- 
ton, Jno. B. Judson, Arch'd W. Adams, David 
Low, Joseph Koon, J. C. Magofiin, John S. L. 
Tonelier, Benj. F. Joslin, Edw'd H. Wheeler, 
Abram W. Van Woert, Edgar Fonda, A. J. Prime, 
Andrew Truax, L. Sprague, James Chandler, 
Orasmus Squire (living 1885), A. M. Vedder, 
Benj'n Weeks, John S. Crawford, N. Marselis, J. 
Stackpole, Edwin A. Young. 

As we have stated, the society was organized June 

10, 1 8 10. Its first meeting was held the next day 
*'at the Court Room," and Archibald H. Adams 
was elected President ; William Anderson, Vice- f 
President ; Alexander G. Fonda, Secretary ; and 
Dr. Corns. Vrooman, Treasurer ; Doctors Thomas 
Dunlap, Alexander G. Fonda, and Corns. Vrooman 
were the Committee upon the Code of Laws, and it 
was resolved that they meet ** annually, the second 
Tuesday in June, at 2 o'clock p. m., in the Court 
Room, * * * which time shall forever thereafter 

be the anniversary meeting " of the society. Ad- 
journment was had until the following day, when 
the Code of Laws was adopted, and Doctors 
Vrooman, Anderson, Dunlap, Daniel Toll and 
Abram Delamater were elected Censors. Daniel 
McDougall was ** unanimously chosen as a suit- 
able person to attend the lectures in the City of 
New York on the different branches of medicine. " 
An adjournment was then taken until September 

11, 1810. This quarterly meeting was held at the 
* * House of James Rogers, innkeeper. " Joseph 

F. Yates was examined and admitted to practice 
Physic and Surgery, and Drs. Toll, Fonda and 
Dunlap were appointed a committee to revise the 
by-laws, to report at the next quarterly meeting to 
be held December 10, to which time adjournment 
was then taken, and on that date the society met 
at the house of Dr. Vrooman. The committee 
upon the revision reported, and their report rati- 
fied. Dr. Archibald H. Adams was elected a 
delegate to the State Society, and Christopher T. 
Fonda examined and admitted to practice. 

At a special meeting, held at the Court House, 
March 19, 1811, Daniel J. Toll was elected Treas- 
urer, in place of Cornelius Vrooman, deceased, 



and Daniel McDougall became a member of the 

The first anniversary meeting * * was held Tues- 
day, June II, 1811, at 2 o'clock p. m., at the 
Court Room," and Daniel J. Toll elected Presi- 
dent ; Robert M. G. Walmsley, Vice-President ; 
Alexander G. Fonda, Secretary ; and Daniel J. 
Toll, Treasurer; and Doctors A. G. Fonda, Daniel J. 
Toll, R. M. G. Walmsley, Abram Delamater, and 
Thomas Dunlap, Censors; and Dr. Toll, a delegate 
to the State Society. Doctors Daniel McDougall, 
McClearg, Brown, Wood, and Christopher G. 
Fonda were proposed as members of the society. 

At the anniversary held one year later, June 1 1, 
1812, at the Court Room, Dr. Toll was elected 
President; Dr. Walmsley; Vice-President; and Dr. 
Fonda, Secretary and Treasurer ; and Doctors 
Toll, Walmsley, Delamater, Fonda, and Wood, 
Censors. The gentlemen whose names were 
proposed at the last meeting were admitted as 
members, and Dr. A. G. Fonda was sent as dele- 
gate to the State Society. Doctors Jno. Dodge and 
Lyman Carpenter were proposed as members of 
the society. 

The quarterly meeting was held at the Court 
Room, September 11, 181 2, and Jno. Dodge and 
Lyman Carpenter elected members. The follow- 
ing addition to the Code was passed : '*That no 
member of the society shall hold any nostrum or 
specific for the cure of a disease under the penalty 
of forfeiting his seat in the same. '* Doctors Ellis, 
Woodward, Devoe, Vought, Veeder, and Myn- 
derse were proposed as members. The sum of $3 
was received from Dr. Toll ** being the balance of 
licentiate fees on hand," and *' Dr. Jno. Wood 
paid $1 as an initiation fee." 

A regular adjournment was then taken. From 
this time, up to 1825, the records of the society 
are lost, and nothing but a vague general legend 
of its doings is extant 

The minutes of a meeting held 31st January, 
1825, that there were present Doctors Daniel J. 
Toll, the President ; and Doctors Thomas Dun- 
lap, James Magoffin, J. S. L. Tonelier, J. Scher- 
merhorn, D. Low and Daniel McDougall. Dr. 
McDougall was appointed Secretary, and Dr. 
Magoffin a delegate to the Slate Society. Drs. 
Dunlap, Low and McDougall were appointed 
as a committee to revise the by-laws, to report at 
the next anniversary meeting, which was held 
June 14, 1825, at the house of Harvey Davis. 
Angus McDermid appears to have then been a 
member. The report of the committee appoint- 
ed 31st January, 1825, was adopted. Thomas 
Dunlap was elected President ; James Magoffin, 
Treasurer ; and Dr. McDougall, Secretary. Drs. 
Dunlap, Magoffin, McDougall, G. Wade (whose 
name first appears here), and Peter Delamater were 
elected Censors. 

A meeting of two of the Censors, Dunlap and 
Magoffin, was held in April, 1826, when Dr. 
Cole was given his diploma, and at a sub- 
sequent meeting, held in November, Wade and 
McDougall being also present as Censors, Dr. 
Chamberlin was admitted to practice. 

Frederick Orlop received his diploma from the 
Censors in June, 1827. 

A period of six years now elapsed, of which no 
record appears. February 25, 1833, the Censors, 
Drs. Dunlap, Magoffin and McDougall, met, and 
Edward H. Wheeler successfully passed an ex- 
amination. There were two meetings of the Cen- 
sors in 1834 — March 23d, when Andrew Truax 
received his diploma, and July 23d, when Joseph 
Harman received his. It does not seem that the 
society met again during this year until Septem- 
ber 9th, when the following new members were 
present : B. F. Joslin, J. Coon, E. H. Wheeler. 
A committee of three, Joslin. Magoffin and Mc- 
Dougall was made to revise the By-laws, to report 
at the next quarterly meeting. Alexander G. 
Fonda was sent as delegate to the State Society, 
and a contribution of five dollars was made by 
them to it 

The committee appointed in September reported 
at the next anniversary meeting, held June 9, 1835. 
Among the amendments suggested, and at once 
adopted, was : that the officers annually elected 
should hold until their successors should be elected ; 
that the President should, at the meeting one year 
after his election, ** deliver to the society a disserta- 
tion upon some appropriate subject, " and the fee for 
a diploma was raised from two to fiv^ dollars. At 
this meeting Andrew Truax, A. J. Prime and 
Orsamus Squire became members ; and Dr. Dunlap 
was elected President; Dr. Magoffin, Vice-President; 
Dr. Prime, Secretary ; and Dr. McDougall, Trea- 
surer ; and as Censors, Drs. Dunlap, Magoffin, 
Squire, McDermid and McDougall. The new 
meeting, or attempted meeting, is best described 
in the words of Dr. A. J. Prime, its Secretary : 
**June 14, 1836. When the members gathered 
together, not enough stayed long enough to form 
a quorum. Drs. Magoffin, Dunlap, McDougall 
and Prime, after waiting till the hour was expired, 
thought it was for their own private and others' in- 
terests to absquotulate, and therefore decamped. 
A. J. Prime, Secretary." D. Edgar Fonda received 
his diploma from the Censors January 31, 1837, 
and at a special meeting of the Society, held in the 
City Hall, July 18, 1837, G. E. Fonda, A. W. Van 
Woert, William N. Duane, J. Harman, J. Beake- 
ley and J. B. Noxon were elected members. At 
the next anniversary meeting, held at the City Hall, 
June 12, 1838, Dr. J. B. Noxon was elected Pres- 
ident ; Joseph Koon, Vice ; Andrew Truax, Secre- 
tar)'; Wm. N. Duane, Treasurer ; and Magoffin, 
Squire, Beakeley and Noxon, Censors. The 
customary committee on revision of the by-laws 
was appointed, consisting of Drs. Koon, Beakeley 
and Truax. Andrew Huyck and James Chandler 
received their diplomas from the Censors, June 25, 
1838 ; and at a meeting of the Society, December 
I ith, Dr. Sprague was elected a member. The an- 
niversary meeting of 1839 was held the second 
Tuesday in June, at the City Hall. Alex. M. 
Vedder, John O. Crawford, James Chandler 
and Benjamin Weeks were elected members, and 
James C. Magoffin, President ; A. G. Fonda, 
Vice ; Edgar Fonda, Secretary ; and Andrew 



Truax, Treasurer; and Drs. Dunlap, Magoffin, 
L. Sprague, McDougall and A. M. Vedder, Cen- 
sors. James C. Magoffin was sent as delegate to 
the State Society. 

The anniversary meeting, held at the City Hall 
the second Tuesday of June, 1840, proved, as far 
as the records show, to be the last wherein business 
of importance was done. On motion of Jacob 
Beakeley, it was *' Resolved, That it is proper to 
charge the sum of one dollar, and not less than 
fifty cents, for visit and medicine in ordinary 
cases ;" and, on motion of A. M. Vedder, it was 
resolved, ''That a committee of three be appointed 
for the purpose of regulating the charges of physi- 
cians, whose duty it shall be to report at the next 
quarterly meeting." A. M. Vedder, J. Beakeley 
and Sprague were appointed to deliver a disserta- 
tion at the next meeting. The President was also 
directed to deliver an annual address, or pay a fine 
of one dollar. Dr. Magoffin was elected Presi- 
dent ; A. M. Vedder, Vice ; J. Chandler, Secretary; 
Andrew Truax, Treasurer; and Dunlap, Sprague, 
Magoffin, Young and Beakeley, Censors. 

The last anniversary held under the old organi- 
zation, of which there is any written record, was the 
one held June 8, 1841, at the Court House. By 
resolution, the officers then holding were directed 
to hold over for another year. Judging by the 
minutes, internal dissensions began to make them- 
selves felt at this time. It is not our province to 
enter into their merits or demerits. I'he society 
soon ceased, practically, to have an existence. For 
twenty-eight years there was no regular organized 
medical society in Schenectady. In the Daily 
Union of January 16, 1869, there appeared a call 
for a meeting of physicians and surgeons to organ- 
ize a medical society. In furtherance of this 
design, January 19th, at the Cadey House, the fol- 
lowing-named gentlemen appeared : A. M. Vedder, 
L. Ellwood, J. D. Jones, Charles Hammer, N. S. 
Cheeseman, B. A. Mynderse, G. W. Van Voast, 
Robert Fuller and Wm. N. Duane ; and the 
society formed by the election of A. M. Vedder, 
President ; J. D. Jones, Vice ; L Ellwood, Secre- 
tary ; N. S. Cheeseman, Treasurer ; and G. W. 
Van Voast, B. A. Mynderse and A. M. Vedder, 

Dr. Vedder was sent as delegate to the 
State Society. The membership fee was fixed at 
$2, and in order to become a member, it was neces- 
sary to submit the diploma to the Censors for 

The title of the society, as shown by its by-laws, 
adopted January 11, 1870, is ''The Schenectady 
County Medical Society. " Annual meetings are held 
the second Tuesday of every January, and semi- 
annual meetings the second Tuesday of June. 
Special meetings may be called. From the time 
of its organization it has been in a healthy condi- 
tion, and bids fair to outnumber in members, 
years of life and usefulness, any of its predecessors. 
In addition to those present at its first meeting, 
January 19, the following joined during the same 
year: Alex. Ennis, N. G. Daggett, Geroe Greene 
and Andrew Veeder. 

The officers for the present year (1885) are: M. 
G. Planck, President; Geo. E. McDonald, Vice- 
President; Chas. C. Duryce, Secretary; J. L. 
Schoolcraft, Treasurer; Censors, E. P. Van Epps, 
J. Reaglesand H. V. Hull. ' 

The delegate to the State Society is L. Ellwood, 
and to the "American Medical," H. C. Van 

The members, past and present are: Brumma- 
ghen, Peter A., Mariaville; Cheeseman, N. S., 
Scotia; Clute, W. T., SchenecUdy; Daggett, N. 
G., Schenectady; DeLamater, S. G., Duanesburgh; 
Durj'ee, Chas. C, Schenectady; Ellwood, L., 
Schenectady; Ennis, Alexander, Pattersonville; 
Featherstonhaugh, T. (left city), Schenectady; 
Fuller, Robert, Schenectady; Greene, Geroe (dead), 
Schenectady; Hammer, Charles, Schenectady; 
Hill, John (dead), Quaker street; Hoag, Peter C. 
(left city), Schenectady; Hull, H. V., Schenectady; 
Johnson, T. B. (dead), Schenectady; Jones, J. 

D. (dead), Schenectady; Mackay, John P., 
Schenectady; McDonald. Geo. E., Schenectady; 
Munderse, B. A., Schenectady; Pearson, W. L., 
Schenectady; Perkins, Maurice, Schenectady; 
Planck, M. G., Schenectady; Roach, Paul, Quaker 
street; Rowe, George (left city), Bramans's Corners; 
Reagles, James R., Schenectady; Steinfiihuer, G. 
A. F., Schenectady; Schoolcraft, J. L., Schenec- 
tady; Van Voast, G. W., Schenectady; Van Zandt, 
H. C., Schenectady; Veeder, A. T., Schenectady; 
Vedder, A. M. (dead), Schenectady; Van Epps, 

E. P., Schenectady; Vedder, L. T., Schenectady; 
Van Patten, John, U. (dead), Schenectady; White- 
horne, E. E. (left city), Schenectady; Young, 
Edwin, West Glenville. 

Among the leading physicians of the city not 
previously mentioned are: 

John Kastendieck, M.D., graduated from the 
New York Homoeopathic Medical College in 1878. 
He located in Schenectady in 1882. 

James Duane Jones, M. D. , who deserves special 
mention, was born in Schenectady, January 20, 
1828. His ancestors, both paternal and maternal, 
were among the earliest settlers of Long Island and 
New York City. He graduated from Union College 
in 1846, and from the Albany Medical College in 
1849. He then went to the Seaman's Retreat 
Hospital, Staten Island, remaining there for three 
years, 1849-51, coming to Schenectady, and 
entering upon his practice in 185 1. He was mar- 
ried in 1872 to Anna M. Bigelow, daughter of 
John M. Bigelow, of Schenectady. In 1873 he 
became a member of the County Medical Society. 
Was city physician, and physician to the County 
Alms-house, and during General Sheridan's Vir- 
ginia campaign he served as surgeon-in-chief to 
the 25th New York Cavalry. 

Dr. Jones' professional career was marked by 
that success which close attention, allied with 
natural aptitude, always commands. While a lead- 
ing physician, nature had made him a fine surgeon, 
and to that he willingly devoted the greater portion 
of his time. Dr. Jones died December 31, 1879, 
his wife surviving him. 




Among Schenectady's numerous skillful and 
honored physicians, no medical practitioner is 
better or more favorably known than the gentle- 
man whose name heads this brief biographical 

Dr. Ellwood was born at Mindcn, Montgomery 
County, N. Y., on the twentieth day of July, 1825. 
After acquiring his education, he engaged in the 
study of medicine and surger}', and graduated from 
the Medical Department of the Buffalo University 
in 1848, at the age of twenty- three years. 

He did not long delay the beginning of that 
which was destined to be his successful life-work, 
for we find him in August, 1849, a new-comer in 
Schenectady, where he soon established himself in 
practice, and entered upon a career which has 
marked him as a man of energy, perseverance, 
business ability, and high scholastic and profes- 
sional attainments. 

As a physician he gradually, but surely, rose high 
in the esteem of the public and his professional 
brethren. He was one of the originators and a 
charter member of the Schenectady County Medi- 
cal Society, in the deliberations and management 
of which he has ever since been conspicuously act- 
ive. His knowledge of his profession and its re- 
quirements is thorough and of broad scope; he has 
often been called in counsel with physicians of un- 
doubted eminence in very difficult and important 
cases, and from time to time he has prepared val- 
uable and interesting papers upon topics of deep 
interest to the medical profession. 

During the more than thirty-six years of Dr. 
Ell wood's residence in Schenectady, he has closely 
identified himself with the best interests of the city 
and county. That such a man has been called to 
places of public trust, is only an evidence of the 
good judgment of his fellow citizens. Dr. Ellwood 
has served as a member of the Board of Supervis- 
ors of Schenectady County, has represented his 
Ward as Alderman, and has been prominently iden- 
tified with the Boards of Health and Education. 
He has also served as both City and County 

Hearty, but unostentatious in manner, he speaks 
with moderation and to the point. His fidelity is 
undoubted, and his circle of personal friends is 
wide, embracing many of the most prominent 
physicians and citizens of this section of the 

Lewis Faust, M.D., graduated from Wallace 
College, Berea, O., and from the New York 
Homoeopathic Medical College. He is a member 
and an ex-president of the Montgomery County 
Homoeopathic Medical Society, and of the New 
York State Homoeopathic Medical Society. 

George L. Van Allen, M.D. , 134 Centre 
street, was bom in Bethlehem, Albany County, in 
1851; graduated from the medical department of 
Union University; practiced his profession in Gal- 
way, Saratoga County, and Albion, Orleans County; 
has traveled and studied in Europe. Located in 
Schenectady in 1882, and makes a specialty of 

the treatment of chronic diseases and diseases of 


Rynier Schaets, in the year 1681, was a practic- 
ing **chyrurgion" in Schenectady, though Pieter 
Van der Linde, or Van O'Linda, was a surgeon in 
North America in 1639, and by some it is thought 
was here about 1640, but of this there is nothing 
positively known. October 18, 1703, Jacobus V. 
Dyck petitioned for the right to practice surgery 
here, and from 1758 to 1767, Dr. Dirk Van 
Ingen wa^ in regular practice. 

From 1764 to 1788, Dr. Spilser (de Spitser). 
In 1773, Dr. William Constable is** said to have 
been a surgeon to a British regiment sent over in 
the French wars." He died in New York. His 
son, John Constable, lived in Schenectady many 
years. A widow of Dr. John Constable, ''for- 
merly of this city," was buried in St. George's 
Church Cemetery in 1805. From 1779 ^^ 1781, 
Dr. Onger was "the hessen docktor." In 1780 
Dr. William Mead was practicing surgery. He 
was a surgeon in the revolution, and died in 
Schenectady Feb. i, 1829, aged 80 years. In 
1 784 he was in possession of the McCamus & Co. 
lot on State street, which was afterward owned by 
Dr. William Adams. Dr. William Adams prac- 
ticed herein 1785 and subsequently. His sons, 
Dr. Alex. Hamilton Adams, died April 181 1, aged 
forty-two years, and Dr. James Adams died April 
20, 1 803. They both practiced in this city. Dr. 
Cornelius W. Vander Heuvel was a physician 
from 1747 to 1797, dying two years later. Dr. 
Stringer, of Albany, at about this time visited pa- 
tients here, and in 1795, Dr. John Constable occu- 
pied the house afterwards owned by Dr. Wm. 
Duane in Union street In 1 799 Peter Mabee was 
a "practitioner of physic." Dr. Rogers lived 
here in 1800. Dr. William Anderson and ^ 
Dr. Joseph W. Hegeman were partners here 
for some years previous and including 18 11. 
In that year Dr. Anderson, while on his return 
passage from New Orleans, died with yellow 
fever. Dr. Hegeman removed to Cincinnati a 
few years subsequently, and in 1827 to Vicks- 
burg, where he died in 1837. Cornelius Vroo- 
man, son of Simon Vrooman, was bom here, and 
for a few years previous to his death, which oc- 
curred in 1811, when he was but thirty years of 
age, followed his profession. 


O. J. Gross began the study of dentistry in 1875 
at Great Falls, N. H., and received the degree of 
Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1879 *^ the Dental 
College, Philadelphia, Pa, He came to Schenec- 
tady in 1880, and resides at 235^ State street. 

B. F. Carhichael, dentist, established himself 
at 37 Union street in 1878, and has had a suc- 
cessful and increasing practice. 

Among other dentists deserving special notice 
for extensive and well-merited practice, are Dr. F. 
D. F. Gray, Dr. John B. Hull and Dr. D. R. 




Mohawk Bank. — Among the first banks organ- 
ized in this State was the Mohawk Bank of Sche- 
nectady. In 1 807 a special act of the legslature was 
passed to incorporate the stockholders of this 
bank. At this date there were but a small number 
of banks in the State, and only two in the city of 
New York. 

In the act of incorporation, James Constable, 
Henry Yates, Jr., I^wis Farquharson, Garret S. 
Veeder, Moses Beal and David Boyd were ap- 
pointed a board of commissioners to open books 
on the first Tuesday in May, in which all persons 
willing to be associated for the purpose of estab- 
lishing a bank were inscribed, togedier with the 
number of shares taken. The value of each share 
was ten dollars, and the number limited to twenty 

On the second Tuesday of May of this same 
year, the stockholders elected the first board of 
directors, which consisted of thirteen members. 
Charles Kane was selected by the directors as the 
first president, and David Boyd as cashier. 

It is impossible to ascertain the exact date 
when the bank was first opened for the transaction 
of business. 

This bank was first located in a comparatively 
small building on the comer of Union and Church 
streets, on the site of the present Classical Institute 
building, a structure built by the bank in 18 — , and 
used for banking purposes until 1852, when it was 
sold and converted into a private dwelling. In 
1852 the bank was removed to the building on 
State street now occupied by J. H. Barhyte & Co. 
Here it was located until 1857, when its present 
building was erected at a cost of about $15,000. 
This bank continued to do business, under its 
charter of 1807, until 1852, when it was reorgan- 
ized under the general banking laws of 1837, with 
a capital of $200,000. In 1859 the capital was 
reduced to $100,000. In 1865 it was reorgan- 
ized as a national bank, for a period of twenty 
years. Its charter expired this year (1885) and 
was extended by the Comptroller of the Currency 
to 1905. The following is a list of its various 
presidents and cashiers from 1 807 : 

Presidents : Charles Kane, James Duane, David 
Martin, John I. De Graff, D. D. Campbell, James 
R. Craig, G. G. Maxon. 

Cashiers : David Boyd, William Walton, Ed- 
ward Walton, Nicholas Swits, Charles Thompson. 

SciiENrcTADY Bank. — This bank was organized 
under a special charter in 1832 as a Safety Fund 
Bank, for a period of thirty years, with a capital of 
$150,000. Its first directors were: Archibald 
Craig, Alonzo C, Paige, Samuel Cook, Ephraim 
Benedict, Benjamin F. Mumford, Jay Cady, Ste- 
phen Clark, Freeman Stanton, George McQueen, 
Judiah Ellsworth, Harvey Davis, Isaac I. Yates, 
and William Cunningham. 

Its charter expiring in 1862, it was reorganized 
under the State banking laws, with a capital of 

This bank was first located in a building on State 
street, near the corner of Church street. Here it con- 
tinued to do busmess until 1 87-, when it was moved 
to its present location. Archibald Craig was its first 
president. He was followed by Jay Cady in 1842. 
In 1862 Simon C. Grootwas made president. He 
was succeeded by William L. Goodrich in 1 866, 
who remained in this position until 1869, when he 
was succeeded by Jay Cady, the latter remaining 
in this position until the election of Abraham A. 
Van Vorst in 1875, since which date Mr. Van 
Vorst has retained this position. 

The first cashier was Thomas Palmer. He was 
succeeded in 1843 by William H. Palmer, who 
was succeeded in 1845 by William L. Goodrich. 
Mr. Goodrich remained in this position until 1866, 
when Samuel L. R. Buchanan was made cashier. 
He was succeeded in 1869 by William L. Good- 
rich, who has remained in this position ever since. 


Abraham A. Van \'orst, President of the Sche- 
nectady Bank, was born in Glenville, Schenectady 
County, November 28, 1806. His father, Abra- 
ham F. Van Vorst, was a farmer, and, though also 
a native of Schenectady County, was of Holland 
descent The progenitors of the Van Vorsts were 
three brothers, who emigrated to the Empire State 
in the early part of the last century. One of them 
settled in Brooklvn, where there was at that time a 
flourishing colony of his countr}'men ; another lo- 
cated on the Hudson, near Kingston ; and the 
third, who was the immediate ancestor of Mr. Van 
Vorst's family, fixed upon Schenectady County as 
his future home. Inheriting the thrifty and indus- 
trious habits of their nation, they engaged in the 
cultivation of the soil, and, like their countrymen 
generally, soon accumulated a handsome compe- 
tence as the result of their honorable labor. His 
moiher was the daughter of Jacob Wallace, a na- 
tive of New York, but of Scotch extraction. 

Mr. Van Vorst pursued his studies at the dis- 
trict schools till he attained the age of seventeen, 
when, preferring a mercantile to an agricultural oc- 
cupation, he entered, as clerk, a country store in 
Schenectady, and continued thus employed four 
years. Soon after attaining his majority, in 1828, 
he engaged in the hardware business in the same 
place, in company wiih Henry Peek, the firm be- 
ing Peek & Van Vorst. This copartnership lasted 
until 1835, when the firm was dissolved, Mr. Van 
Vorst continuing the business on his own account 
until 1853. For a few years subsequently he was 
connected with the New York Central Railroad. 
In 1858 he became a member of the firm of Van 
Vorst, Vedder & Co., for the transaction of the lum- 
ber business, in which line of operations he con- 
tinued until 1874, when he retired from the active 
duties of mercantile life. 

Previously to 1845 Mr. Van Vorst had been 
elected a member of the Board of Directors of the 
Schenectady Bank, then a State bank, l^pon its 
reorganization in 1862, he was elected its vice- 
president, and on the death of Jay Cady in 1875, 

XlU t 



he succeeded to the office of president This 
bank, one of the most flourishing financial organ- 
izations in the Stale, has a competent capital and 
also a surplus fund, and declares an average divi- 
dend of five per cent semi-annually, clear of 
State and national taxes. Mr. Van Vorst is also 
vice-president of the Schenectady Savings Bank, a 
sound and prosperous institution. For nearly 
fifty years he has been connected with the vestry of 
St George's Episcopal Church in Schenectady. 

Though naturally averse to political preferment, 
Mr. Van Vorst has served as alderman for several 
terms, and as member of the County Democratic 
Committee, and was induced, through the persua- 
sion of his party, to accept the nomination for 
mayor, to which important office he was elected, 
serving for the terms of 1^53-54, 1869-70 and 
1882-83. 'I his responsibility he accepted very 
reluctantly, and only after the urgent appeal of his 
friends to his patriotism and his desire for the wel- 
fare of the community — those higher motives that 
influence men to the acceptance of public trusts. 
During the period of our civil war, Mr. Van 
Vorst was an active *'war Democrat*' upholding, 
by all the means in his power, the hands of the 
Government. He was for many years identified 
with the business interests of Schenectady, in which 
his thrifty and sterling habits made him a promi- 
nent mercantile character. Since 1862, his finan- 
cial skill and conscientious management of mone- 
tary interests have been an important factor in the 
prosperity of Ttiat city. He was married in 1830 
to ^Iiss Amanda Hulbert, daughter of Dr. Hul- 
bert, of Pennsylvania, who bore him one son and 
three daughters (all of whom are living), and died 
in 1880, six months after the celebration of their 
golden wedding. Mr. Van Vorst built his resi- 
dence. No. 25 Liberty street, in 1835, and has lived 
there continuously since. 

City Bank. — ^This bank was organized in June, 
1874, with a capital of $100,000, under the gen- 
eral banking laws. The first directors were : T. 
W. McCamus, Andrew l^ruax, William J. Van 
Home, E. Nott Schermerhorn, William Johnson, 
C. Van Slyck, Charles G. Ellis, George Curtis, 
Abraham Gillespie, Garrett S. Veeder, Marcus N. 
Millard and O. S. Luffman. T. W. McCamus 
was elected president, and O. F. Luffman as cash- 
ier, and remained as such officers from the organ-, 
ization of the bank until they resigned in March, 
1884. At this time Charles G. Ellis was chosen 
president, E. Nott Schermerhorn, cashier, and O. 
S. Luffman, assistant cashier. 

DAceifiber 15, 1884, it suspended, juid John A. 
A. De Remer was appointed receiver. 

James H. Davis, gentleman, is a well known 
and respected citizen of Schenectady. 


During the latter part of the preceding century, 
a company was formed in this city to supply the 
town with water. Water was taken from a spring, 
which now in part supplies the cemeter}' pond. It 

was conducted by wooden pipes through the main 
streets at that date. In 1835, this system of water 
supply seems to have become inadequate for the 
needs of the city, for in that year an act was passed 
by the Legislature, empowering the corporation of 
Schenectady to build a new water-works. Water 
at this time was obtained by means of a spring on 
Engine Hill. The pipes were simply logs, with a 
hole bored through them of a diameter of about 
two to three inches. For many years this sys- 
tem was in use. Even a small portion above the 
canal was in use a few years before the present 
works were constructed. During the excavation 
made for the present water s\-stem, the pipes of the 
first works were unearthed, and in many cases 
found to be in a comparatively preserved condi- 

Thk Schenectady Water Company. — In 1865, 
an act was passed by the Legislature incorporating 
the present Schenectady Water Company. The 
first directors named in the act were : William Van 
Vranken, George (j. Max on, D. Cady Smith, John 
W. Veeder, Simon C. Groot, Benjamin F. Potter, 
and T. W. McCamus. The capital stock was lim- 
ited to $80,000. At a meeting of the directors, 
shortly after the passage of the act, William Van 
Vranken was elected President, T. W. McCamus, 
Vice-President, and D. Cady Smith, Treasurer and 
Secretary. This, and the following year, ineffec- 
tual efforts were made to secure sufficient capital 
to construct the works. 

In 1867, a few of the citizens of Schenectady, be- 
lieving that the city should own its own water- 
works, secured the passage of an act, which 
created William ■ Van Vranken, William J. Van 
Home, .JofmC. Ellis, G. G. Maxon, and Andrew 
McMullen, Water Commissioners. These com- 
missioners were empowered to consider all matters 
relative to supplying the city with water, to furnish 
estimates and plans for the construction of water- 
works to the Common Council; which plans, upon 
the approval of the Common Council, were to 
be submitted to the resident taxpayers for their 
approval or rejection. 

The Water Commissioners did agree upon a plan 
of construction, which was submitted and approved 
by the Common Council ; but when the subject 
came before the taxpayers some time in the follow- 
ing May, it was overwhelmingly voted down. 

The failure of the people's consent to the con- 
struction of a city water-works, again brought into 
active existence the company formed in 1865. 
In 1 869, this company, which had not forfeited its 
corporate rights, reorganized, by the election of 
Charles Stanford, President, and William Van 
Vranken, Treasurer and Secretary. At the reor- 
ganization all of the capital stock was subscribed, 
and the construction of the works commenced the 
fol lowing year, and was completed in 1 8 7 1 . The sys- 
tem adopted is known as the Holley system. The 
puTD ping-house is situated at the lower &d of 
Ferry street, adjoining the river. The wkter is 
pumped from a large cistern or well, 114 x 6 feet, 
built under the ground near the margin of the river. 
The walls of this well are dry, permitting the filtering 



of water from the river into the well, while over the 
top is an arched covering composed of brick and 
cement Around the walls is a course of gravel 
and sand, which has a tendency to purify the water 
before it reaches the well. A conductor pipe, 
three feet square and one hundred feet long, ex- 
tends from the well, along and under the bed, out 
into the middle of the river. The end of this pipe 
is protected by a perforated sheet of iron. 

In 1872 the works were in active operation, and 
have been ever since. During 1872, a contract 
was made by this company, with the city, to furnish 
water for the extinguishment of fires. Since the 
adoption of this system, much valuable property 
has been saved and no fire has extended beyond 
the building in which it originated, and the losses 
by fire have been proportionately less than at any 
other corresponding period of the city's history. 

In 1 87 1 only nine miles of pipe and 100 fire 
hydrants were constructed; at present over fourteen 
miles of pipe have been laid and 140 hydrants fur- 

The capital of this company was increased to 
$100,000 in 1871. 

The present officers are : Charles Stanford, Pres- 
ident and Treasurer; Charles Stanford, Jr., Sec- 
retary. Directors : Charles Stanford, G. G. Maxon, 
Charles G. Ellis, John McEncroe, Wm. Van 
Vranken, Edward Ellis, and Charles Stanford, 



In 1852, a company, composed entirely of capi- 
talists outside of this city, built the first gas-works 
ever constructed in Schenectady. This company 
subsequently sold the concern to Abeli Smith and 
James R. Craig. Afterwards it was sold at public 
auction to Gershom Banker, who conducted it 
until 1872, when two-thirds interest in it was pur- 
chased by Charles Stanford and William Van 
Vranken. Shortly after, Mr. Banker's interest was 
sold to John McEncroe. The works have since 
been operated and controlled by these three 

The capital of the company is $100,000, and the 
works are capable of producing yearly, 1 1,000,000 
cubic feet of gas. 

Robert Clement, who for over thirty years was 
superintendent of the gas-works, was born in Bel- 
fast, Ireland, in 1824. He died in 1883. Mr. 
Clement was a citizen widely known and esteemed, 
being a progressive, intelligent and exemplary man. 
He was largely interested in real estate in this city, 
and did much to promote the business interests 
of Schenectady. He was so long and intimately 
connected with the gas-works in Schenectady, that 
he may almost be said to have been its real founder; 
certain it is, that to his intelligent work, much 
of its present prosperity can be justly attributed. 

Joseph H. Clement, son of Robert, was bom in 
New York in 1849. He received his education in 
the public schools. In i860 he became connected 
with the Schenectady gas-works and has remained 
with this company ever since. At present he is 
superintendent of the works. 


Casper Pratt Hoag was bom in Troy, N. Y., 
September 24, 18 10. His father was a vessel 
owner and he was early inured to the dangers and 
hardships of a seafaring life, which were then many 
times greater than they are now. Before attaining 
to his majority he had at times taken charge of his 
father's vessel, and had made some progress in the 
acquisition of a practical knowledge of navigation. 
Soon after that time he accepted a proposition 
from a merchant who had built a brig for sea 
service, to take an interest in the vessel and assume 
the command. He made two voyages to the Gulf 
of Mexico, and two to Europe, Madeira and the 
Canary Islands. After Mr. Hoag's retum to New 
York from the last of these, he and his partner 
leased the brig to the Brazilian Government to 
make a voyage to South America, from which she 
retumed in due time newly rigged and in excellent 
order, having lost her masts, rigging and sails in a 
tomado, and been refitted at the Isle of St Thomas 
at an expense of about $9,000. 

In the meantime, Mr. Hoag had married the 
youngest daughter of Peter I. Clute, of Schenectady, 
and had determined to abandon the sea and engage 
in business at Schenectady in partnership with his 
brother-in-law. His partner in the ownership of 
the brig consented to a proposition looking to this 
end very reluctantly, and after many vain endeavors 
to persuade Mr. Hoag to reconsider his determina- 

The brig was sold to the Brazilian Govern- 
ment, and Mr. Hoag relinquished forever an avoca- 
tion which had been the means of his visiting many 
remote and interesting portions of the world, which 
had many charms for him, and in which he had 
met many appalling dangers which, if we had space 
to relate them, would form one of the most inter- 
esting portions of this volume. In partnership 
with C. C. Clute, he purchased five lots in Sche- 
nectady and erected a mill, thus establishing a busi- 
ness which the two owned and managed co-jointly 
for three years, at the expiration of which time, by 
purchase of his brother-in-law s interest, Mr. Hoag 
became sole proprietor. He continued the busi- 
ness with considerable success, gradually increas- 
ing it until 1845, when, on July 25th, the mill 
was destroyed by fire. Mr. Hoag's energy is no 
better evidenced than by the fact that within six 
months he had erected a brick foundry on his 
property, and began work therein during the 
following April. This enterprise Mr. Hoag made 
a success, as he invariably did such enterprises as 
he connected himself with, continuing its active 
personal management until i860, when his health 
had failed in so marked a degree that his physician 
advised him to relinquish his confining business 
entirely, and take a necessary season of rest and 
recreation. He leased his foundry to a company 
of Albany men for five years, and devoted himself 
to the care of his garden, pleasurable pursuits and 
such gentle exercise as was most conducive to good 
health, with such results that his physical condition 
was vastly improved. 



In 1838 he united with the First Reformed 
Church of Schenectady, and was long officially 
connected therewith, and one of the most earnest 
and liberal contributors to its support and advance- 
ment When, in the summer of i860, its house 
of worship was destroyed by fire, he was one of 
the foremost in working to save it, and in all 
measures for its rebuilding took a leading po- 
sition, and was a member of its Building Commit- 
tee. Under their supervision, the erection of a 
stone edifice of the Netherland Gothic style was 
b^un in October, i860, and completed in Jan- 
uary, 1863. 

Since his retirement from business in i860, 
Mr. Hoag has not re-entered the manufacturing 
business in any of its branches; but he has been, as 
he was previously, prominently identified with 
several of Schenectady's leading commercial inter- 
ests. He was a stockholder in the Mohawk Bank, 
and for twenty-two years, until his resignation about 
a year ago, a Director in the Schenectady Bank. At 
various times other important interests have com- 
manded his co-operation. During the past twenty 
years, the general confidence in his honor and 
business ability have been attested by his adminis- 
tration of two estates, and his closing out of two 
others by power of attorney. One of these estates 
required six years of his time in its settlement, and 
was divided among thirty-five heirs to their general 
satisfaction. The settlement of another one of 
them, the real estate of which was located in 
Michigan and Delaware, consumed five years of 
Mr. Hoag's careful attention. 

Since the organization of the Republican party, 
Mr. Hoag has been identified with it ; prior to 
that time he was a Whig, holding principles nearly 
akin to those of the earlier Republicans. He has 
represented his ward in the City Government several 
times as Alderman, and some years ago was chosen 
Mayor, to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation 
of an incumbent of that office. His administra- 
tion of all trusts, private, public, commercial and 
political, has been marked by the uprightness and 
careful intelligence which have characterized him 
through life. He is one of the many self-made 
men of Schenectady, and one of the few who stand 
as connecting links between the Schenectady of fifty 
years ago and the Schenectady of to-day. Now in his 
seventy-fifth year, in the enjoyment of good health 
and a fine intellect, with no wish for worldly honors, 
made happy by those he loves, he calmly awaits the 
summons to the reward of a well-spent life. 



Broom Corn. — For half a century Schenectady 
County produced more broom com than any other 
in the State. The New York ** Gazetteer," of i860 
and 1872, states that one-half of the entire crop of 
the State was raised in the county. The introduc- 
tion of Western corn has reduced the acreage of 
1,500 acres, which it was up to 1880, to one-third 
that quantity. There will not be over 500 acres 
planted this year — 1885. The soil has become 

somewhat exhausted by this long repeated work, 
and land that formerly gave 900 pounds to the 
acre will now produce only 550 pounds. 

The history of this interest is a large factor to a 
proper commercial knowledge of our county. 
While the industry shows a marked decline from 
its former condition, it is yet one of the largest of 
its kind in the State. 

As all old citizens will remember, the broom of 
former days was a rude device compared with 
that of to-day. It was simply a few round bunches 
of corn sewed on to a stick. George Canfield, 
who came here fi'om Utica about fifty years ago, 
was the inventor of the improved "Shaker" 
broom, the flat broom we now use. Mr. Can- 
field also invented, about 1850, a seed planter, 
planting previously being done by hand. He 
also, ten years later, made a horse planter, which 
is yet in general use. Mr. Canfield never protecting 
his contrivances by patent, met with the usual re- 
sult of inventors, and died a poor man. 

The Pioneer. — ^The very first grower in the 
county was Otis Smith, who came here from Con- 
necticut over fifty years ago. A Mr. Willard, who 
owned a farm at the west end of the town, had 
planted two acres on the island. This was the first 
land ever planted to broom com on the Mohawk 
River. After preparing his land, Mr. Willard, not 
himself a practical com grower, sent for Mr. Smith 
to superintend the crop. Smith purchased land 
until he owned about 125 acres, and raised and 
manufactured corn until his death in about 1870. 

The following list gives the best information at- 
tainable of the pioneers in this industry, beginning 
on the north side of the Mohawk River at Sche- 
nectady, and running thence to Hoffman's Ferry, 
a distance of ten miles. 

North Side of Rivkr. — David F. Reese, fifty 
years ago, owned the islands a mile from the city, 
known as the Hook Islands. He had 200 to 
250 acres, and up to about 1865, the year of his 
death, was a grower and manufacturer. After his 
decease, his son Frederick continued the business 
until his death, some seven or eight years later, 
when the farm was divided. Mrs. Frederick Reese 
now owns the Big Island, Hook Island belonging 
to the Collins family. 

Next west to the Reese farm, in Scotia, was that 
of Charles P. and Edward P. Sanders, who, forty- 
five years ago, owned 700 acres there, seventy-five 
of which were devoted to com. They also manu- 
factured and continued until about 1870, when 
they retired, though they still grow some com. 
They belong to one of the old families of the 

The next farm on the west was that of 100 acres, 
owned by Col. Abraham Toll. He raised and 
manufactured from about 1840 up to about 1865, 
when his brother, Charles H. , bought it and con- 
tinued the business for ten years. He then gave it 
up and became a general farmer. 

Next west to the Toll place was seventy-five to 
eighty acres owned by Reuben Ellwood, who, from 
about 1845 to 1855, grew and manufactured com. 



He then removed to Illinois, selling his property 
to Wm. Cramer, who, up to his deadi about fifteen 
years ago, as has his family since, remained in the 
same business. 

Cornelius *and Nicholas Velie had fifty acres, next 
west to Ell wood, forty -five years ago. Up to about 
1 860 they grew and manufactured, when they died, 
Wm. Haslow becoming owner of the farm. He 
has continued the business ever since. 

Next west of the Velie property was that of 
Nicholas Brooks, who, forty-five years ago, owned 
sixty acres there. He grew and manufactured 
com for about five years, when David F. Reese 
rented the farm. In about 1855 Harvey Vedder 
leased it, and in 1865 Christian F. Seeley bought 
it Through all these changes the corn business 
was kept up. The homestead is now owned by 
James Wyatt and the balance of the farm by Fred- 
erick Larbey. No com is grown now. 

Garrett Barhydt owned fifteen to twenty acres, 
next west to Brooks', thirty years ago, and from 
that time to date has grown com. 

West of Barhydt's, Wm. Rector began, in about 
1845, with thirty-five to forty acres. Has never 
manufactured, but continues the raising of broom 

For thirty years, ending in 1884, Adam H. 
Swart grew corn upon fifteen acres situate next 
west to the Rector farm. 

Next west to Swart's are forty acres owned by 
John S. Barhydt, who, ^^ years ago, was a grower 
and manufacturer there.* Mr. Barhydt died in 1 854, 
since then his son John has ran the farm. He 
has a manufactory in the city. 

Forty years ago Aaron Swart raised corn upon 
20 acres next west of Barhydt's. He made a 
few brooms at first, but soon gave it up. Mr. 
Swart sold out to Latin Johnson in 1866, and 
moved to Illinois. Mr. Johnson raised com until 

Next west to Aaron Swart's is the estate of 
Philip Vedder, who owned it a century ago. In 
1845, Albert H. Vedder began growing corn upon 
from 40 to 50 acres of the original 1 50-acre farm. 
In 1 863 he sold 80 acres to Nicholas H. Swart, 
including the land he had been working. Mr. 
Swart remained there until 1866, when he sold to 
Cornelius Van Patten, a grower. Mr. Van Patten 
died in 1883, leaving the property to his daughter, 
who shortly afterwards sold it to Bartholomew 
Clute. No com is raised there now. 

We have traced every farm within the territory 
specified upon which broom com was cultivated or 
brooms made. Next following is given a history 
of the farms along the ten-mile strip and through 
the town of Rotterdam on the 

South Side of thk River. — Beginning at Sche- 
nectady, on the south side of the river, are the 
Watervliet Shakers, who, when Otis Smith har- 
vested the first two acres above described, were 
making preparations to cultivate and manu- 
facture com in this county. They came here 
from New Lebanon, and were the first to make 
brooms for the Schenectady trade. They leased 
the Tomilson form of 90 acres. They already- 

owned — and still do — 60 acres two miles up the 
river, making, with the Tomilson property, 150 
acres, which they planted to com. Nicholas I. 
Schermerhom was their superintendent from 1835 
for forty years. In 1850 the Tomilson portion was 
sold to John Myers, who grew and manufiactured 
up to the year of his death, about 1870. He was 
a large operator. After his death his family rented 
the land and manufacturing was stopped. The 60- 
acre piece was recently leased to John Van Epps. 

Nicholas I. Schermerhom, fi-om about 1840 to 
1880, had 90 acres where the Jones Car Company 
is now located. Mr. Schermerhom was a large 
grower, manufacturer and dealer. He bought for 
years about all the corn grown in Schoharie 

Next west to the Schermerhom property, fifty 
years ago, John, Alexander and Jacob Van Epps 
had 200 acres of land and grew and manufactured. 
In about 1 860 the Van Epps' sold a part of the 
farm to John Veeder. John Myers subsequently 
bought out Mr. Veeder, and after the death of Mr. 
Myers his family continued to grow corn, but 
no longer manufactured. Jacob Van Epps died 
about i860, and John Van Epps, 1868. Alexander 
now lives in the city and still raises corn upon the 
homestead, though no brooms have been made 
there since 1863. 

Two brothers, John and Simon Schermerhom, 
fifty years ago owned 50 acres next west to the Van 
Epps' home, and from that lime to date have grown 
corn and made brooms. 

Fifty years ago, Nicholas Vrooman and Josiah 
Van Patten owned 150 acres next west to the 
Schermerhorns, upon which corn was grown. 
Forty-five years ago, Nicholas also owned 25 acres 
there, upon which he grew com and made brooms 
until 1 880, when his son succeeded to the business. 
Josiah sold his land to Lewis Clement in about 
1873, and is now living in the city. Mr. Clement 
grows com. Vrooman Van Patten is yet living on 
his farm, his son, Abram, growing corn and mak- 
ing brooms there. 

Next west to Van Patten's, forty years ago, An- 
thony H. Van Slyke owned 50 acres. He died in 
about 1865. Corn was cultivated and a few 
brooms made. His sons, John and Harmon Van 
Slyke, own the farm, and until 1882 grew some 
com. In that year they leased the land, upon 
which com is still cultivated. 

Abram A. Bradt, next west to Van Slyke's, in 
1845 cultivated 25 acres; he also made brooms. 
After his death, in about 1882, Harvey Bradt took 
possession and in 1 883-4 com was grown. From 
1870 to 1883, Harvey Bradt had quite an extensive 
manufactory in the city. 

In 1835, Simon Maybee, next west to Bradt's, 
cultivated 15 to 20 acres, continuing until about 
1870, the year of his death. Jacob Maybee then 
grew com there for about five years. 

In 1845, Aaron Bradt cultivated 30 acres 
next west to Maybee's. He died about i860, and 
Francis Bradt grew com and made a few brooms. 

Next west was the 3 5 -acre piece of Abram N. 
Bradt, who, in 1835,. grew com there. He died 


in about i88o, and was succeeded by his son, 
Simon Bradt, who continued until 1883, the year 
of his death. The property was bequeathed lo his 
nephew, Abram A, Bradt, who now hves there and 
grows some corn. 

Nicholas firadt has cultivated twenty acres next 
west for fifty years, and is yet living there. 

John M. \'eeder raised com upon thirty acres 
next west, from 1857 to i88j. He also made a 
few brooms, but is now out of the corn business. 

Next west to Veeder's farm, and ihe last on the 
icn-mile track, is the thirty-acre farm of John 
Bycc, who began raising corn there twenty years 
ago. He also made a few brooms, but in 18S3 
retired from the business. The farm is still his 

CiT* Dealers and Manufactukers. — Among 
the prominent dealers and manufacturers of 
broom com doing business in the city, are the 

Nicholas H. Swart has been a buj'cr and seller 
since 1835, and since thai time has dealt with 
nearly every prominent grower in this section. 
Mr, Swart shipped the first load of broom com 
ever brought from any Western State to this city. 
This load was from Illinob, in the year 185a. 

We are indebted to Mr. Swart for a recital of 
many of the facts given in this article, and lo his 
remarkably clear memory any credit due lo its 
accuracy should be given. 

H. J. Ansicker, Water street, corner Washington 
avenue, house 3, Ferry, continued ; John Barhydl, 
2 1 Washington avenue ; Henry Bradt, broom 
handles. Mill lane; H. S. De Forest, 100 Centre 
street ; Charles Horslman A Co., 6 River ; C F. 
Rankins A Co., 121 Front street; Henry Whit- 
myre, 19 North street; Chas. L. Whitmyre, 11 
and 14 Washington avenue; Cliristopher \'an Slyck, 
7 Pine and 57 Centre street; James A. Flinn, John 


Are under good management, and deserve the suc- 
cess they enjoy. 

The capital of the Schenectady Locomotive 
Engine Manufactory, the first company formed, 
was raised by the citizens of Schenectady in Jan- 
uary, 1848, and was espended in buildings and 
machinery by a company who agreed lo pay 
the interest on the capital annually, and to pay 
lo the stockholders the whole capital in eight 
years, and thus themselves become the owners 
of die properly. This company carried on the 
works about one year ; their affairs turned out so 
badly thai they abandoned the works, which re- 
mained idle for twelve months, during which time 
a part of the personal property was sold for taxes. 
The whole works were finally sold at one-half 

The purchasers under the sale were John Ellis, 
Daniel D. Campbell, and Simon C. Grool, who, 
with others, raised anew capital, and on June 14, 
1851, the present company, Tlie Schenectady 
Locomotive Works, was incorporated. Waller 
McQueen acquired an interest in iS;i, which he 
still retains. By February. 1863, John Ellis had, 
by purchase, acquired, substantially, the entire 
stock. Oclober 4, 1864, Mr. Ellis died, and bis 
Slock was subsequently divided among his heini. 

his sons, John C, Charles G., and William D, 
John C. Ellis died Oclober 4, 1884, just twenty 
years after the death of his father. 

The officers and stockholders — all stockholders 
being trustees — are: Charles 0. Ellis, President; 
Walter McQueen, Vice-President; Edward Ellis, 
Treasurer. The estate of John C. Ellis, deceased, 
and William D. Ellis. 

The plant of this large concern occupies an area 
of ten acres (lliough ihey use for all purposes 
twenly-one acres), upon which are erected fifteen 
brick structures, ranging in size from 25 x 7 1 feet to 
100 X 252 feet, and 85 X345 feet It is bounded by 
Fonda, Romeyn, and Nott streets, and the New 
Vork Central Railroad. They own, in addition, 
lumber yards on Romeyn strcet.coal yards between 
the canal and Fonda street, and their water-works 
upon the west side of the canal are constantly 
pumping water from the Mohawk River. 

All classes of locomotives, from the small, nar- 
row gauge to the large consolidation, with eight 
diiving-wheels. are made, their annual capacity 
being 225 engines. 

One thousand o 
to whom is paid, 
g6o, 000, 

The products of this establishment are seen 
throughout the United Stales, Canada, and Mexico. 

The Superintendent, A. J. Pitkiv, was bom at 
Akron, 0., in 1854; served an apprenticeship as 

; hundred men are employed, 
inihly, from ^50,000 lo 



macbinisl [here ; entered llie tlraning room of the 
Baldwin I.ocomolive Works, Philadelphia, in 
1876 ; was Mechanical Engineer for the Rhode 
Island Locomotive Works, Providence, in 1880; 
came to Schenectady in 1882 as Mechanical 
Engineer for the Schenectady Locomotive Works, 
and was appointed Superintendent of the Works in 


William Gibson was born near F.dinburgh, 
Scotland, February 16, iSij, and died in Schenec- 
tady, March 28, 1881. Dorinji; his boyhood, until 
his eighteenth year, he attended the schools of that 
city. He came to America in 1830 and soon to- 
cale<l in Troy, where he speedily secured work in 
Burden's iron works. Shortly afterward he was 
appointed forctnan in the spike factory. Six years 
later he was made superintendent of the works, 
which, however, were not so extensive as they are 
at the present time. In 1853 he severed his con- 
nection witli the Burden works and removed to 
Albany, and became Superintendent of the .\lbany 
Northern Railroad, now a part of the railway sys- 

tem controlled by ihc Delaware and Hudson C^nal 

In 1855 he engaged in the manufoctureof spikes 
in the shop of Mr. Townsend, which was located 
in what is now the lower part of Albany, thus cm- 
barking in business on his own account. He sold 
out this enterprise a year later and removed to 
Schenectady. In 1858, Mr. John Ellis, formerly 
owner of the Schenactady Locomotive Works, and 
father of the present proprietors, knowing his 
worth, secured his valuable services, and promoted 
him lo the position of assistant superintendent of 
the shops. The duties of his position he performed 
with zeal and fidelity, until his failing health com- 
pelled him to relinquish them in 1 876, subsequent 
to which date be was in no wise occupied, save in 
taking care of his own properly and that of others 
left to his immediate charge. 

Mr. Gibson was scarcely twenty-one years ofagc 
when he married Mary McQueen, sister of Walter 
McQueen, for some lime superintendent of the lo- 
comotive works. His marriage occurred on July 
4, 1832, during his residence in Troy. At that 
time he was a member of the Associate Presbyterian 



Church of that city, of which Rev. Dr. Bullions, 
author of Bullions' English Grammar, was pastor. 
He was a leading spirit in that church until his 
removal to Schenectady, when he united with the 
First Presbyterian Church of the latter city, which 
was then under the pastoral charge of Rev. Dr. 
Backus. As a Christian he was ever fervent and 
staunch, doing willingly and unostentatiously his 
utmost for the advancement of the cause he loved. 
He was a man of active temperament, and his 
sensitive nature often stood in opposition to his 
better judgment He was counted a man worthy 
of unlimited respect and confidence, and he won 
and retained numerous friends who mourned his 
death with sorrow. He left a family of four: a 
widow, two grown-up sons, William W. and Peter 
M. Gibson, and a daughter, Jennie M., widow of 
the late John Gilmour. Another daughter, Mary 
E., died in 1852, aged four and one-half years. 
His father died in Scotland and his mother came to 
America with her son. She never made Schenec- 
tady her home, but lived with her daughter at 
Auburn, where she died some years ago. 

The firm of McQueen & Stack, mechanical engi- 
neers and manufacturers of steam engines and 
boilers, and self- regulating boilers for steam heat- 
ing, 170 Centre street, was organized April i, 
1884. The individual members are Hon. Daniel 
P. McQueen and David L. Stage. The plant cov- 
ers an area of 80 x 125 feet. Fifteen to twenty men 
are employed, the annual output amounting to 
$25,000. They also do plumbing and gas and 

Among the buildings which were fitted up by 
them, are the Classical Institute, the German Cath- 
olic School, and the home of Hon. John D. Camp- 
bell. Mr. McQueen was member of Assembly in 
1874, and has also been inspector of foreign ves- 
sels, while Mr. Stage, for twelve years prior to 
1884, was chief engineer of the Schenectady water- 

The Westinghouse Company, manufacturers 
of agricultural engines, grain-threshers, horse- 
powers, etc., is known throughout the United 
States. In 1837, George Westinghouse began at 
Fonda, N. Y., the manufacture of his patent 
threshing-machine and horse-power. Facilities 
were added firom time to time, as trade demanded, 
and in 1850 the works were removed to Schenec- 
tady, where they were enlarged. In 1870, Mr. G. 
Westinghouse retired from business. In 1874 the 
buildings were destroyed by fire, and were imme- 
diately rebuilt In 1884 the Westinghouse Com- 
pany was organized, the stock being held by the 
partners of the firm, which was succeeded by the 
corporate body. The officers are: J. Westing- 
house, President; Spencer Moore, Vice-President; 
John Westinghouse, Treasurer; H. R. Hegeman, 

The premises are between Dock street and the 
Erie Canal, with a track from the Central Railroad 
running through them. The main building is of 
brick, 300 X 500 feet, three stories. Around it are the 
foundry, blacksmith shop, warehouses, office, etc. 

A force of 175 to 200 is employed, and the annual 
capacity is 300 threshers, 1 50 engines, and corre- 
sponding number of horse-powers. 

Henry V. Jackson is the senior member of the 
firm of Jackson & Sands, engineers and machin- 
ists, corner Jay and P>anklin streets They are 
builders of engines and machinery for yachts, 
launches and for stationary purposes. They also 
repair machinery of all kinds. 

The history of the Kilmer Wire Band Manufac- 
turing Company, Dock street, is unique in the annals 
of the city. In 1876, Augustus Kilmer, then a resi- 
dent of Howe's Cave, Schoharie County, N. Y., 
aided by members of his family, invented the wire 
band now so extensively manufactured by them. 
Patent was obtained in 1877, and one year later 
the manufacturing began. In 1880 the company 
built and moved into their present works. They 
occupy an area of 100 x 180 feet, upon which are 
buildings to the extent of 1400 square feet The 
machinery', most of which is patented by the com- 
pany, is driven by a steam engine of fifty-five horse- 
power, and 125 men are employed. The average 
daily output of completed work is eight tons. 

They make annealed Bessemer steel wire bands 
for baling hay, straw, flax, etc., fence wire, and or- 
namental fencing, by a process of which they are 
the inventors and proprietors. The company is 
composed of the father, Augustus Kilmer, and his 
seven sons. Ransom, Martin L., Ir\'ing A., Thalas 
S., Melvin D., Elmer E, and William A., and Ed- 
ward Davis, a son-in-law. Among the leading in- 
ventions of the firm is the fancy fencing and the 
arrow bale-fostener cutter invented by Irving A., 
and the twisting machine for bale loops by Irving 
A. and Elmer E. Additional buildings are soon 
to be constructed. 

The Jones Car Manufacturing Company. — 
The Jones Manufacturing Company came to 
Schenectady from West Troy in 1875, renting the 
premises of the Schenectady Car Company for the 
manufacture of street cars. Soon after the works were 
enlarged and they began the manufacture of draw- 
ing-room cars and sleepers, which continued until 
February 4, 1884, when E. Nott Schermerhorn was 
appointed its receiver, and for about eight months 
the business was continued by him. About the be- 
ginning of 1885, Mr. Walter A. Jones leased the 
works of the receiver, and in June, 1885, they were 
re-leased to the New York Sleeping Car Company, 
which is at the present time the controller of the 

Thatcher Elevator. — What is now commonly 
known as the Thatcher Elevator, was built in 
1865 by George G. Maxon, of this city, and John 
W. Thompson, of Ballston Spa. From then until 
May I, 1884, George G. Maxon and his son, Ethan 
A. Maxon, conducted the business. Mr. Thomp- 
son having previously sold his interest in the real 
property to Mr. Maxon, Sr., a stock company was 
formed, the name being the Schenectady Elevat- 
ing Comf)any, of which George G. Maxon is 
President and Treasurer, and Le Grand C. Cramer, 
Secretary. In May, 1884, Ralph W. Thatcher, of 



Albany, leased the property of the company for a 
lerm of yearn yet unexpired. 

An elevator and general mill business is done, 
from one to one and one-half million bushels of 
grain being annually bandied. Their principal 
business is in receiving and transferring grain which 
reaches here from the West via the Erie canal 
and the railways, for Northern New York and New 
England States. The main building is 60 x 100 
feet in cstent, 95 feet high. A 200 horse-power 
engine is used. From 15 to 30 men are em- 

C, C. CI.UTE. 

Cadwall-auer Coi.den Clute, eldest son of 
Peter 1. Clute, was born in the City of Schenec- 
tady, October 18, 1814. Becoming associated in 
early life with his fatlier (afterward of the firm of 
Clute k Bailey) in the general foundry business, he 
laid the foundation for those strict methodical 
business habits which were so characteristic of him 
through life. Dissolving this connection, he started 
in trade for himself, conducting successfully for a 

number of years a hardware store, located on the 
block between the canal and railroad crossing on 
.State street, Schenectady. During ihis time, and 
about the year 1841, he associated with one or 
Iwo others, and took a contract for building sections 
19 and 2S on the Western Railroad. In 1842 he 
purchased the interest of Joel C. Bailey, of the 
6rm of Clute A Bailey, and the arm of P. I. Clute 
A Sons was organized, continuing until the year 
1849. when it was merged in the firm of Clute 
Brothers. P. 1. Clute retiring. His connection 
with this firm, subsequently changed to that of 
Clute Brothers &. Co., remained up to the day of 
liis death. On the organization of the firm of G. 
VVestinghouse & Co., and the establishment of that 
house in Schenectady in 1856. he became a mem- 
t>er, and continued such until the reorganization 
of the firm in 1870. On the organization of the 
Mohawk Bank of Schenectady in the year 1859, 
he was elected a director, and held that position 
uninterrupted until his death, August 16. 1876, 

He left a legacy of six thousand ($6,000) dol- 
lars to the Home of the Friendless, 

qM J,'Qfe>^i-e'*'7*'L£-*'^^^^'^^ ^ 


Shawl Factory. — In 1848, the biiildingnow oc- 
cupied by James Roy & Co. for the manufacture of 
woolen cloth, was built by Schenectady capitalists, 
and up to 1854 ivas used as a carpet factory. Dur- 
ing this year Messrs. Roy & Co. purchased the 
property, changing iis name to the Waiervliet 
Mills, by which name it is now known. Up to 
about 1870 shawls were the main production, when, 
by the introduction of proper machinery, the man- 
ufacture of woolen cloth and ladies' dress goods 
was begun. A few shawls are still made yearly. 
Since Roy k Co. have owned the concern no cotton 
has been ever mixed with their goods, and the an- 
nual consumption of wool is now one-half million 

The buildings front 235 feet on Church street, 
and run through to Railroad street. One hundred 
horse-power is used, and 75 males and 75 females 
are employed. The company's real estate covers 
an area bounded by Church, Water and Railroad 
streets, with the exception of one house at the 
angle formed by Railroad and Church streets. They 
also own two brick wool store-houses opposite the 
factory on Church street 

James Roy & Co. were incorporated January i, 
1866, and two ■ woolen mills at West Troy are 
owned by them, also being known to the trade as 
the Watervliei Mills. 

Arthur W. Hunter was the first manager of the 
concern here, continuing as such up to 1875, when 
he retired, and his son, Winfield S. Hunter, took 
his place, which hestill retains. Among their old 
employees are John Jarvie, boss carder, with 23 
years service to his credit, and John Moorhouse. 
boss wool sorter, with 30 years. 

Knitting Mills. — The Imperial Hosibrv Mills, 
McLachlin, Conde & Co., proprietors, was oi^n- 
ized January j, 1881, with 850,000 capital. The 
individual members are John McLachlin, Cornelius 
S. Conde (who is manager and superintendent), 
and Edwin GroaL Mr T. K. Conde was a partner 
up to 1883, when he retired. Knit goods of all 
kinds for children, ladies and gentlemen are 
made. 300 sets of cards, 750 spindles, 9 knitting 
machines and 14 sewing machines, keep busy 40 
female and 26 male operatives, who produce 1,500 
dozen goods monthly, which are in \-alue from $5 
to $10 per dozen. 

The works, comer Ferry street, continued, and 
Erie street, are two stories, frame, 90X 50 feet, with 
an L 14 X 36 feet A 70 horse-power boiler and 60 
horse-power engine are used. The value of the 
building and furniture is $50,000. 

Schenectady Knitting Mill. — The Schenectady 
Knitting Mill Company was organized in 1 875, The 
principal stockholders were Hon. Charles Stanford, 
N. I. Schcrmerhom, D. D. Campbell and William 
H. McClyman. The building was completed 
in 1876, and a prosperous business conducted 
until 1878, when the entire properly was destroyed 
by fire. In 1879 the building was rebuilt and 
work again resumed. For a number of years Hon. 
Charles Stanford was president of this company. 
He resigned a few years ago, when N. I. Scher- 

merhom was elected in his place. Wm. H, Mc- 
Clyman is treasurer and general manager of this 
mill. About 130 persons have been continuously 
employed in this flourishing establishment since it 
was rebuilt 


Nicholas I. Schermerhorn was bom in the town 
of Duanesburgh, N. Y., March a6. 1818. His 
father, of German descent, was bom in Schodac, N. 
Y., July 14, 1779, and moved to the town of 
Duanesburgh, 1817. 

In 1824, when he moved to Rotterdam, Nicho- 
las was about eight years old. In 1833 his father 
died, and his remains now rest in the fomily plot 
in Vale cemetery. Nicholas was now in his fif- 
teenlh year, and being the oldest son, the direction 
and care of the household was assumed by him, 
managing the farm in the interests of the family. 
At twenty-three years of age, in 1841, he was mar- 
ried to Susan, daughter of Conrad Chism, and re- 
mained upon the farm for three yeare longer. His 
first enterprise, in 1844, was in raising broom com 
for the Watervliet Shakers on the Rolterdam-Mo- 
hawk Flats, two miles west of the city of Schenec- 
tady. The second year he commenced the manu- 
facture of brooms on his own account. 

His business increased from year to year, until 
he became the largest producer and manufacturer 
in this part of the countr}', up to 1877, when he 
disposed of his interest in this business. 

In 1855 he moved his family on the old home- 
stead ofBartholomew Scherroerhorn in Rotterdam, 
opposite the grist-mill, and there bought three 
hundred acres of land, including all that part of 
the Mohawk flats adjoining the city of Schenec- 
tady. Here he lived until 1870, when he bought 
the fine residence of Dr. L. Ellwood, 230 State 
street, in the city of Schenectady, ami removed 
there with his family, and where he still lives. 

In 1865 he bought the Vandebogart Brothers' 
coal business, and formed a co-partnership with his 
son-in-law, Mr. W. H. McClyman, in which they 
continued until 1874, when Mr. McClyman retired 
from the firm and Mr. Schermerhorn's son, William 
G., was taken into partnership with his father. 

Messrs. Schermerhorn <& Son also entered into the 
hay and straw business about 1872, on the dock 
between the Erie Canal and the New York Central 
Railroad, in which they still continue. The coal 
business was sold out in 1884. In 1880, Mr. 
Schermerhorn and his brother-in-law, William 
Christler, bought the Schenactady flouring mill, 
which they still continue to operate. 

Outside of his mercantile business, he took the 
contract to build the Schenectady and Duanesburgh 
railroad and took into partnership with him on the 
contract Messrs. Samuel Donaldson, of Fultonville, 
and Harmon Van Slyke, of Rotterdam. The work 
was completed within a year. 

He was one of the originators and stockholders 
of the Schenectady Car Works, built on a part of bis 
Rotterdam farm near thecity. He was also one of 
the originators and stockholders of the Schenectady 



Knitting Mills, known as the Brandywine Mills, 
and he still continues to be an active member of 
the firm, and is also its president. He is one of 
the originators and a large stockholder in the Mc- 
Queen Locomotive Works in Rotterdam, situated 
on the flats near the Jones Car Works, and he 
still remains connected with that enterprise. 

He has been a director of the Schenectady Bank 
for the past twenty years, and also a trustee of the 
Savings Bank. He is also a trustee of the Young 
Men's Christian Association of this city, who own 
one of its finest buildings. 

He has taken an active part in the political in- 
terests of his county, and has held the office of Su- 
pervisor in the town of Rotterdam two terms, 
County Superintendent of the Poor three terms, 
and County Treasurer from 1867 to 1882. 

Thus it may be seen that Mr. Schermerhom has 
been an active and honored citizen ; a promoter of 
the industries of the community ; that he has done 
much to advance the material and social interests. 
His life has been a success in many respects. He is 
a model of enterprise and is highly esteemed by his 

Mr. Schermerhom has also shown the art of rul- 
ing his own house well. He has three children, 
one son and two daughters. His son, William G., 
resides with him and is an active partner in his 
business. He married Sarah L. Swart and has 
one son, N. Irving, ten years of age. His daugh- 
ter Anna M., married William H. McClyman, of 
the Schenectady Knitting Mills, and they have 
one daughter, Susie May, age sixteen. His other 
daughter, Catherine E. , married G. S. Veeder Mil- 
ler. They have four sons: Abram G., age 22 
years; William S., age 20 years; Nicholas I., age 
13 years ; and Garret S., age 7 years. 

He is a member of the congregation of the First 
Reformed Church, and one of its Advisory Com- 

SusHOLZ & Myers. — The house of Susholz & 
Myers, with Solomon Susholz, George Susholz 
and Adolph Myers, was organized in 1880-81. In 
February, 1884, George Susholz and Mr. Myers 
retired, Solomon succeeding to the business, and 
the firm name becoming S. Susholz. George re- 
mained as superintendent. Their mills, on Dock 
street, are of brick, 4 stories, 50 x 1 50 feet; an en- 
gine of 100 horse- power turns 4 sets of cards, 4 
self-operating mules, and 16 knitting cylinders, the 
average daily capacity being 800 pounds yarn. 75 
females and 25 males are employed, who produce 
scarlet- colored woolen knit underwear for men, 
women and children. 

They have selling agents in New York City. 

The firm of John Wiederhold & Co., manufac- 
turers of ladies' underwear, children's garments, 
dress wrappers, aprons, hoop skirts, etc., 180 
Centre street, was established in 1870. For a 
time the firm was Wiederhold Brothers, but it was 
subsequently changed to its present form. Mr. 
John Wiederhold, the senior member, has been at 
the head of the business from the first The Victory 
is a three-story brick building, 50 x 100 feet, and 

employs one hundred women and girls. It is fully 
equipped with sewing and other necessary machines 
and implements. 

Brewers, Maltsters, etc — The first brewery in 
Schenectady of which there is any knowledge was 
in 1820. It was located in the First ward on 
Washington avenue. A Mr. Moffatt conducted it 
for seven or eight years, when he discontinued, and 
the brewery was closed. 

About this time (1820), but possibly two or 
three years later, two brothers, Hugh and Daniel 
Martin, started one on the same avenue. This 
was soon sold to Mr. La Britton, who continued 
it for a few years, when he in turn stopped brew- 
ing. Still another, and located on the same ave- 
nue, at the head of Union street, was the one 
started in about 1824 by John S. Vrooman and 
Isaac M. Schermerhom. Mr. Vrooman soon re- 
tired, and, shortly afterward, Francis Myers pur- 
chased the same. Mr. Myers evidently did not 
meet with much financial encouragement, for he 
soon withdrew from the business. While the exact 
dates of the closing of the above-named concerns is 
not attainable, all of them were out of existence by 
the year 1831. 

In about 1830, Reed Brothers started a malt- 
house on the dock, in the building erected by 
Daniel D. Campbell, of Rotterdam. The building 
passed through the hands of Messrs. Millard & Crane, 
Cornelius Thompson, H. Rosa and Martin De 
Forrest, and finally into the hands of the Susholz 
Manufiacturing Company. 

Peter Engle owns and conducts a lager-beer 
brewery at 47 Nott terrace. This is the only 
brewery now in the city. 

Cornelius Thompson has a malt-house on Dock 
street, and has been in the business for many 

In 1 860, George Weller began the manufacturing 
and bottling of soda water at 62 College street, 
remaining there until 1863, when he removed to 
No. 46 of the same street, his present location. 
The manufactory covers an area of 60 x 1 90 feet, 
and is two stories high. He employs eight males, 
and his trade extends through a radius of forty 
miles. Mr. Weller is the only manufacturer and 
bottler of soda water, lemon soda, sarsaparilla and 
ginger ale in the county. He also makes seltzer 

In 1875 he became agent for the Bartholomay 
Brewing Company, and since then has kept a sup- 
ply depot for this and Montgomery Counties. The 
curious yet simple bottling machine used by him 
for his soda water is well worth an inspection. 

Charles Weincke, proprietor of the Hotel Ger- 
mania, corner Liberty and Centre streets, has for 
many years had a large share of public patronage. 


HowLAND S. Barney, the recognized head of the 
mercantile fraternity of Schenectady, and one of 
the most notable of the self-made men of Schenec- 
tady County, was born in Saratoga County, N. Y., 
March 23, 1822, a son of Dr. Z. H. and Eliza 

(Swain) Barney. When his son was about four 
yean old, Dr. Barney removed to Minaville, Monl- 
gomerj' County. There, as he grew older, the 
boy attended the common schools till he had 
reached the age of fourteen, when (in 1 836) he 
I Schenectady and became a clerk in the 
s store of Sydney B. Potter. He was thus 
employed four years. 

Nejti he found employment in the store of John 
Olin, whose partner he became in 1849. under the 
firm name of John Olin & Co. In 1853 he 
bought the interest of a reliting partner in the firm 
nf Barringcr & Co. In 1858, through changes in 
\\s personnel, this firm was reorganised under the 
style of H, S, Barney A Co., and so it has since 
been known. It has been due largely to Mr. 
Barney '5 mercantile abihty and sound and enter- 

prising managL-meni that this house has outgrown 
all rivals, ranking as the wealthiest and most ex- 
tensive dry goods concern in tlie city, and occupy- 
ing commodious and well-appointed quarters at 
Nos. 93, 95, 97 and 99 Stale streeL This large 
building was erected in 1871, and occupied in 
April, 1873. 

Mr. Birney is a Republican, but has always been 
too busy, and has never been inclined, to lake any 
active part in politics. He has done his full share 
to promote the interests of the city. In 1856 he 
ied Sarah, daughter of Joseph Horsfall, o( 
.Schenectady. They have two children. 

Dry Goods.— The firm of H. S. Barney & Co.. 

dealers in dry goods, carpets etc., 95, 97 and 99 

1 State street, was established about 1S43 by Messrs. 



ness then located at 235 State street, which had 
been established since 1840. 

T^ N. Rekse, of the firm of Reese & Hartley, 
comer Union and Romevn streets, is one of the 
leading grocers, and enjoys the reputation of a fair 
and honest dealer. 

Charlks N. Smith, grocer, a son of the late Abel 
Smith, has been in business in Schenectadv since 
March, i HS3, in connection with A. Dillenlx?ck. 

Willis 'J'. Hanson & Co.. druggists and ap<jthe- 
carics, 195 State street, was established in 1879. 
The premises are 25 x 100 feet, with the prescrip- 
\\uvi department and private office in the rear. 
They deal in all the standard medicines, trusses 
and other surgical appliances, toilet articles, pure 
wines and licjuors, mineral and medicinal waters, 
cigars, etc. 

Their specialty, and which is their manufacture, 
is ** Hanson's Magic Corn Salve," a remedy widely 

Mr. Willis T. Hanson is the active partner of 
the concern. 

I^^ '^35» Andrew Truax established the phar- 
macy at 141 State street, which is now conducted 
bv Andrew T. Veeder. Mr. Truax retained his 
connection with it for forty-eight years In 1864 
Mr. Veeder became partner, and in Januar)*, 1883, 
Mr. Truax retired, leaving his former junior part- 
ner sole proprietor. 

The premises are 30 x 100 feet in dimension, 
and the stock carried embraces all necessary arti- 
cles. Dr. Veeder is a descendant of one of our 
oldest families, is an accomplished pharmacist, and 
treasurer of the County Medical Society. 


Dr. Andrew Truax was born in Schenectady 
April 10, 181 1, and died there September 26, 
1883. About 1830 he became a clerk in the drug 
store of Richard Fuller (the old Dunlap k Fuller 
drug store), and while thus employed studied 
medicine. After his graduation, he located and 
practiced for a few years on the Hudson River. 
Returning to Schenectady about 1835, he opened 
a drug store, which has grown to be the most ex- 
tensive concern of the kind in the city, and is now 
under the management of his nephew, Atidrew T. 
Veeder, who became his partner in 1866. 

Dr. Truax was successful in business. Kver 
attentive to all duties, he was economical, but 
never penurious. Mis reputation for all those 
<|ualitics which characterize the honorable, upright 
man of affairs was well known, and as a citizen his 
virtues were ascons|)icuous as his honor. He was 
u <|uiet, unassuming gentleman, courteous to all, 
whether high or low. His words were few, but to 
the point. No appeal for charity, when the object 
was deserving, was made to him in vain. Many 
an aching heart was made glad by his kintlly hand, 
and many a |)oor soul, whose necessities he re- 
lieved, felt, at his death, that a faithful friend was 
gone. Kike his life, his charilifs were unostenta- 
tious, and in this he but obeyed the promptings 

of his noble heart, which turned from ^^ain display. 
He never married. Although not a professor of 
religion, he was a faithful attendant at the First 
Reformed Church. His friendship was steadfast, 
and the many who knew him will respect his 
memorv while thev live. 

En. L Davis, druggist, began business in Sche- 
nectady in 1 88 1, and has a flourishing trade. 

G. A. F. Steinfi'eher has sustained a prosperous 
business in the drug trade for some years, and well 
merits the extensive patronage he controls. 

Fi'RxiTLRE and UNDERTAKING. — The present 
firm of Albert Brown & Son, 154 State street, up- 
holsterers and furniture manufacturers and under- 
takers, is the outcome of the business established 
by Albert Brown in 1829 in the Lassell building. 
In 1830, Mr. Brown bought the cabinet shop of 
Nicholas Yates, State street, and occupied it until 
iS33» when he leased the store of Cornelius Groot, 
subsequently Vedder & Co. Six years later he was 
burned out, and then leased the Doty Block. In 
1857 he moved into the I. I. Truax Block across 
the way, remaining there until 1872. His son, 
Clinton C, purchased Fuller's Hotel, comer State 
and Dock streets, and converted it into the present 
establishment, to which place Mr. Brown removed 
Octol)er I, 1872. During the years from 1872 to 
1882, the firm was known as Albert Brown, A. & 
E. Brown, A. Brown & Son, Albert Brown and A. 
Brown k Son, under which head it still exists. 
Since the death of Mr. Brown. March 6, 1882, the 
business has been conducted by Clinton C. Brown. 
Mr. George Harding has been with the house since 
February 16, 1843. 

The semi-centennial of Mr. Albert Brown's busi- 
ness life, April 10, 1879, was a memorable event 
in the history of Schenectady. 

In 1849, Charles N. Yatf^ learned his trade of 
Albert Brown, in the same building now occupied 
by the former. Mr. Yates during the years 1849- 
50-51 was with his father, Nicholas Yates, at 27 
Front street. After several business changes, Mr. 
Yates purchased his present property, 62, 68, 70 
and 72 State street, and engaged in the wholesale 
and retail furniture and upholstering business, 
where he has since remained. He also manufac- 
tures, from the raw stuff, any custom work ordered. 
Fifteen males are employed, and their productions 
reach Saratoga and Montgomery Counties. The 
undertaking department is in charge of Mr. J. S. 
Timeson. A son of the proprietor, M. De Forest 
Yates, is associated with the business. 

The establishment of Levi T. Cllte, hatter and 
furrier, 101 State street, was founded in 1839 ^y 
his father, William H. Clute, and Levi W. Teller, 
under the firm name of Clute & Teller. They were 
then located at 96 State street Mr. Teller died in 
1 861, and the business was carried on by \Vm. H. 
Clute until 1867, when Levi T. was added, the 
firm name becoming W. II. Clute & Son. The 
firm remained without change until 1871, the 
year of Mr. Clute's death, since which time Levi 
T. Clute has conducted the most extensive business 




in the line of hats, caps, furs, robes, trunks and 
satchels in the county. 

James Sanders, importer anj dealer in watches 
and jewelry, 109 State street, has been established 
for about forty years. The store is 30 x 90 feet in 
extent, is richly fitted up, and presents an attractive 
appearance. Mr. Sanders also deals in clocks, 
spectacles and eye-glasses. He is also sole agent 
for the Charles E. Jacot watches. 

J. V. V ROOM AX has been a dealer in stoves, 
hardware, tinware, etc., and a plumber, gas and 
steam-fitter since 1854, the year he established his 
present business There has been no change in 
the firm name since the admission of his son, W. 
C. Vrooman, when the name was changed to J. V. 
\' room an & Son. 

Their premises at 64 and 66 State street are 28 x 
106 feet in extent, and three stories high. The first 
floor is devoted to general retail purposes. In the 
mechanical department from fifteen to twenty men 
are employed in plumbing, gas and steam-fitting, 
tin 'and sheet metal-working, etc. Buildings are 
fitted up for steam heating at high or low pressure. 

W. J. SwiTS, 136 and 138 State street, hardware 
merchant, is a well known business man of the 
city. He also deals in house furnishing goods, 
stoves and agricultural implements, and all kinds 
of metal work is done to order. 

Clark Witbeck is a wholesale dealer in hard- 
ware, cutlery, iron, steel, farming and agricultural 
implements, at 217 State street. The annual out- 
put is large, and his trade extends throughout a 
large section of country. 

The establishment of Levi W. Case, copper- 
smith, gas and-steam fitter, 1 2 and 14 Warren street, 
was founded in 1849. The shop is of brick, two 
stories high and 60 x 50 feet in dimensions. It is 
equipped with proper machinery, which is driven 
by a stationary steam engine. From twelve to fifteen 
skilled workmen are employed. A specialty is fit- 
ting up public buildings, factories, dwellings, etc., 
for heating by steam at high or low pressure. In 
addition to the manufacturing and jobbing depart- 
ment, Mr. Case also deals in pipe, fittings, cocks, 
rubber hose, drive-well pipes, drain and sewer pipe, 
drive-well pumps, steam radiators, etc. 

J. W. McMullex, marble and granite dealer, 
7 State street, purchased in 1871 his present estab- 
lishment of Mr. F. Kinney, who founded it in 
about 1855. The premises are 60 x 150 feet, the 
front portion being used as a shop and the rear as 
a yard for storage. Mantels, windows, caf)s, 
monumental and other architectural work of all 
kinds are produced. Mr. McMullen was born and 
reared in Albany, where he resided until his re- 
moval here, about fourteen years ago. 

For twenty-one years previous to 1876, J. H. 
Bame was engaged in the livery business in this city. 
During that year he retired from that business 
and became a dealer* in carriages, harness, robes, 
horse clothing, etc., locating in the Bame block, 
comer of Centre and Liberty streets. He built 
and owns the block, of which he occupies a part. 

He also lets money on real estate, and buys and 
sells horses. 

In 1852, Mr. E. L. Freeman came here from 
Chenango County, and succeeded Mr. Jonathan 
Crane as a dealer in paints, oils, glass, putty, etc, 
locating at 18 Wall street. Mr. Crane established 
the firm about 1840. Shortly after Mr. P>eeman 
purchased the business his two brothers were added, 
under the stvle of E. I^ Freeman k Co., which 
continued without change until 1874, when Mr. E. 
L. Freeman died. 

Jonathan R. Freeman and A. T. Freeman then 
formed the present firm, Freeman Brothers. Their 
trade is wholesale and retail, and their stock em- 
braces everything legitimately connected therewith. 

James W. Darrow c^ Co. (Gerardus Smith), coal 
and wood dealers, oflfice, 1 1 o Centre Street, com- 
menced in 1878. The large yard on Ferry street, 
near the canal, has good facilities for receiving 
the coal and shipping it in large quantities ; the 
yard on Centre street is convenient for delivery 
through the city. Both yards are fully equipped 
with necessary sheds and screens. 

Andrew McMullen, coal, wood, lime, ce- 
ment, broom-handles, etc., 92 and 94 Union and 
8, 9 and 10 Dock street, has been in business since 
1858. The Union street premises have a frontage 
of 60 feet, extending along the railway 203 feet 
An office and two-story warehouse is also there. 
The office, warehouse and yafd on ^ock street 
were opened so as to obtain easy access to the canal. 

Mr. McMullen has resided here for 55 years; has 
served as Alderman and Supervisor; and was for 
four years Mayor of the city. Associated with him 
is his son, Henry McMullen. 

Simon H. Vedder, grandson of Nicholas Ved- 
dcr, was bom in Schenectady July 17, 1839, and 
in 1872 established at 61 Park place his present 
business, that of wholesale and retail dealer in coal 
and wood, and manufacturer of refined cider and 
pure cider vinegar. 

H. Rosa, dealer in coal and wood, 15 Dock 
street, has been in this business for forty years. The 
yard, which is in the rear of the office, is accessi- 
ble to the canal on the front and to a branch track 
of the railway in the rear. It is fitted up with the 
neces^ty appliances. 

F. W. Rankixs is a dealer in coal ori the doak, 
and ranks as a popular business man of the 

In 1868, J. H. Dakin founded his present busi- 
ness, that of plumber, gas and steam-fitter, jobbing 
machinist and brass-founder, at 102, 104 and 106 
Liberty street The premises *are 125x69 feet, 
upon which is a building 125x30 feet containing 
the warerooms and shop. It is equipped with 
proper machinery and steam power. 

Mr. Ben'jamin Van Vrankex is an old resident 
From 1853 to 1865 he was engaged as a grocer, 
building in 1862 the block corner Jay and State 
streets, which he occupied for three years. He was, 
in 1870, superintendent of section two, Erie Canal, 
being that part of the canal running from the lower 



Mohawk aqueduct to Amsterdam, a distance of 3 2 
miles. He held the position for two years, and 
was reappointed in 1874, holding it for four years. 
Since then Mr. Van Vranken, as contractor and 
builder, has been busily engaged, erecting, among 
others, the bridge across the North River from 
Luzerne, Washington County, N. Y., to Hadley, 
Saratoga County, N. Y. 

The contract for the first foot of sewer ever laid 
in Schenectady was let to Benjamin Van Vranken, 
in August, 1884. Work was commenced in Octo- 
ber, 1884, for constructing ten miles. 

In 1867 he invented the improved ''Empire*' 
brick machine, which is yet in universal use. 

Duncan Robison, builder and contractor, has 
been in business in Schenectady more than thirty 
years. His grand-parents emigrated from Scotland 
and landed in New York July 4, 1776, and soon 
afterward located in Rotterdam and engaged in 
farming. Many of their descendants are now living 
in that town. 

The history of Schenectady County would be in- 
complete without mention of one of its most enter- 
prising citizens. 

Hon. Charles Stanford was bom in Albany 
County in 1819, and became a resident of this 
county in 1861. He represented this county in the 
Assembly of 1864-5, and this district in the Senate, 
1866-9. Ii^thc Senate he distinguished himself by 
his connection with canal reforms. He was largely 
interested in public enterprises in this city, being 
President of the Schenectady Water Company, Gas 
Company, and the McQueen Locomotive Works, 
and was one of the largest real estate owners in the 
city. He resided in the town of Niskayuna, where 
he conducted a stock farm, being largely interested 
in the breeding of horses. He died in August, 1 885. 

Hon. John W. Veeder was bom in this city in 
1825. He was educated at the old Lyceum. He 
was engaged in transportation and grocery business 
for a number of years. In 1854 he was appointed 
Canal Collector, and in 1858 elected County Clerk. 
The latter office he resigned in 1 861, to accept the 
appointment of postmaster under President Lin- 
coln. He held this position for eight years. From 
1874 to 1883 he was employed in the State School 
Department, under State Superintendent of Schools 
Neil Gilmour. In 1884 he was elected Member of 

Stephen Lush, son of Major William Lush, 
was born in Albany, January 7th, 181 8, and early 
retired from mercantile life to attend to personal 
aflfairs. He represented the City of Albany in the 
Board of Supervisors three terms, and has occupied 
several positions in the State departments. He 
married the daughter of John Gansvoort, and re- 
sides in Schenectady. 

Josiah Van Vranken was born in the town of 
Niskayuna in 1843. He has been a merchant, 
manufacturer, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors 

and Common Council, and Deputy County Clerk. 
At present he is Deputy Superintendent of the State 
Banking Department 

Atwkll & Dennington are the leading real estate 
and insurance firm of the city. P'rank J. Atwell 
attends to the real estate, and H. W. Dennington 
to the insurance department of the firm. They 
enjoy a lucrative business and the entire confi- 
dence of the community. 

C. L. Scott conducts the business of real estate 
and insurance, and is a manager in the office of 
the Evening Star, 

Major A. Freeman was bom in Galway, N. Y., 
September 30, 1802, and with Captain Richard 
Freeman, his father, removed to Schenectady when 
he was seventeen years old. In 1824 he married 
Miss Elizabeth Clute. In 1825 he became com- 
mander of one of the first passenger packet boats 
on the Erie Canal. In 1831 he was appointed 
Brigade Inspector of the Fifty-seventh Regiment 
Militia, with the rank of Major. He owned and 
kept several popular hotels. Retiring to Schenec- 
tady in 1870, he died in his eightieth year. He left 
two sons : E. L. B. Freeman, of New York, and 
Charles Freeman, of Schenectady. 

Paul Ramsay has been connected with the New 
York Central Railroad for ten years, and is now 
its ticket agent at Schenectady. 

James B. Alexander is also ticket agent in the 
same office. 

A. M. Powers, photographer, has resided in 
Schenectady since 1873. 1" ^879 he opened a 
photographic gallery at 225 State street, where he 
has built up a large and lucrative business. 

Isaac I. Yates, at present a retired gentleman, is 
a graduate of the Annapolis Naval Academy. He 
retired from naval service as a Lieutenant in 1883. 
He served in the European, North Atlantic, South 
Atlantic, North and South Pacific squadrons, and 
was one of a few saved at the time of the wreck of 
the Oneida, January 24, 1870. 

Among the leading builders and contractors of 
the city are Joshua Davis, Centre street, near 
Veeder's Mill; Benjamin Fraking, 530 State street; 
Thomas Gunn, 16 Romeyn street; Thomas Kil- 
lian, 27 Romeyn street; R. W. Lampman, 28 
Paige street; John McEncroe, 185 Union street; 
John McDermott, 66 Rome>Ti street; John U. Sit- 
terly, Hamilton street, near Paige; P. Van Dyck, 
152 Barrett street; A. R. Van Dermoor, 16 Ferry 
street; F. H. Weston, Hamilton street, corner 
Lafayette; Alonzo Wamer, 24 Park place; J. M. 
Wendell, Mill lane; and Thomas Harrigan and 
F. P. Wright 

RoBiNE Hathaway for a number of years prior 
to his death was a superintendent on the Erie 
Canal. He was also a contractor and builder. His 
son, William, now holds the same position in the 
canal service formerly occupied by his father. 





DUANESBURGH is the western town of Sche- 
nectady County, and is bounded north by 
Montgomery County ; east by the town of Prince- 
town ; south by Albany and Schoharie Counties ; 
and west by Schoharie County. 



This town has an area of about 42,000 acres, 
and its population in 1880 was 2,995. ^^ ^oiva 
is irregular, and its situation elevated from 400 to 
500 feet above the level of the Hudson at Albany. 
Its surface consists of an upland broken by the 
narrow valleys and gullies of small streams. Scho- 
harie Creek forms a portion of the western boundary, 
and Norman's Kil flows through the south part, 
entering the Hudson further down, at a point 
about two and one half miles below Albanv. The 
Bozen Kil, or Mad Creek, one of the branches of 
Norman's Kil, is a picturesque stream on which is 
a fall of seventy feet Corry's Brook and Chuck- 
tennuda Creek also do their part in draining the 

The hills which border upon these streams are 
steep and in some places rocky. The soil is a 
stiflf, clayey loam with a slight intermixture of 
gravel. The products are various, but grass suc- 
ceeds better than grain, and, as a whole, the town 
is better adapted to pasturage than to tillage. 
Formerly the dairy interests were of considerable 
importance, but during late years the principal 
crops cultivated have been hay, oats, potatoes, 
com, buckwheat and rye. But few of the large 
or small fruits are grown, the demand for home 
consumption being only supplied. Maria Pond 
and Featherstonhaugh Lake are two small sheets 
of water in the northeast part, about 250 feet above 
the canal. The former is beautiful, especially 
during the summer, its circumference being about 
two miles. 

This town contains few important manufacturing 
interests. The Albany and Susquehanna Railroad 
extends through the south part, with a station at 
Quaker street This village and Duanesburgh are 
stopping places on the old Schenectady Railroad, 
the terminal points of which are Schenectady and 
Quaker Street 

Judge Duane, on his withdrawal from active 
life, selected a plot of ground ten acres in extent, 
which he gave to the town. This is known as 
Centre Square or Lot, and was designed as a com- 

mons for the village of Duanesburgh. The situa- 
ion did not prove favorable for the growth of sucht 
a settlement, though two churches, a school-house 
and other buildings mark the locality. 


Large tracts in what is now this town were pur- 
chased by different parties between 1736 and 1770. 
Among the purchasers were Thomas Freeman in 
^11^ ; Timothy Bagley in 1737; A. P. and Wil- 
liam Crosby in 1738 ; Walter Butler in 1739 »* ^^^^ 
Jonathan Brewster in 1770. The tract embraced 
about 60,000 acres, which, with the exception 
of about 1,000 acres known as Braine's Patent, 
came into the ownership of Hon. James Duane, 
either by inheritance from his father or by pur- 

Though, as has been seen, considerable land 
had been taken up, most of it in bulk, actual 
settlement practically began about the time of the 
organization of the town (1765), when Judge 
Duane contracted with about twenty German 
families from Pennsylvania to begin a settlement 
Sixteen of these families came and located per- 
manently. These lands were rented at the rate of 
about $15 per annum on each one hundred acres 
on perpetual leases, payable in gold and silver. 
The agents of Sir William Johnson excited prejudice 
against them, and were instrumental for a time in 
retarding the progress of their settlement and im- 
provement. Long continued disaffection on the 
part of tenants, intensified by the anti-rent troubles 
round about, culminated in the spring of 1858 in 
the formation in Duanesburgh of an Anti-rent 
Association, the members of which pledged them- 
selves to pay no rents, to resist all attempts to 
collect them, and to share equally the expense 
which any of them might incur in contesting at 
law the rights of landlords in the matter. The 
settiement of these difficulties forms a part of the 
general history of the territory treated in this article. 


Hon. James Duane was bom in New York City, 
Februar}' 6, 1733. Having acquired the fitting 
education, he selected the law for his profession, 
and entered the office of James Alexander, one of 
the most eminent counsel of our colonial bar, and 
the father of the American General, Lord Stirling. 
He was admitted as an attorney in 1754, and 
was soon intrusted with a large professional 



This, known as the Duane Mansion, was built 
about 1810 by Catharine Livingston Duane, the 
younger daughter of Judge Duane, upon an emi- 
nence overlooking nearly the whole town of 
Duanesburgh, and but a short distance from the 
North mansion. It is large and imposing, a piazza 
seventy feet in length extending along its entire 
north side. The roof over the piazza, twenty feet 
high, is supported by eight massive columns, 
turned out of huge pine trees. Surrounded by 
ample grounds and sheltered by beautiful shade 
trees, this is one of the most charming of country 
residences. Miss Duane occupied it until 1852, 
when she died, noted for her charity and benevo- 
lence. By will it descended to her nephew, James 
D. Featherstonhaugh, and is the last property of 
any consequence in the town remaining in the pos- 
session of descendants of Judge Duane. 


The following were prominent citizens of 
Duanesburgh in 1838, as appears from the town 
records and other authentic documents ; Jacob A. 
Radley, Thomas Holmes, Jr., David Beverage, 
Charles O. S. Patterson, Samuel Slawson, John 
Wiltse, Israel R. Green, Bradford Berckley, Thomas 
W. Patterson, Silas H. Marsh, John Bentley, Ira 
Bennett, Alexander McMillan, Amos Chapman, 
Ebenezer Cady, Joseph Braman, Frederick Shute, 
Leonard Herrick, James Tullock, Jr., Thomas 
Holmes, Henry I. Smith, David Lander, A. C. 
Clogston, John Combs, Nathaniel Wiggins, John 
Tullock, Alexander Liddle, Alexander Eggleston, 
William McMillan, William Turnbull, Robert 
Liddle, Lester Mott, Joseph Eggleston, Thad- 
deus King, George Ingersoll, Lawrence D. Long, 
William H. Morey, Jacob Coons, John L. Jones, 
Jesse Abbey, John Shute, John T. Wright, Mat- 
thew H. Rector, Philip Paige, David Koon, Alonzo 
Macomber, Caleb H. Carpenter, James Ferguson, 
Samuel Ostrander, Ralph W. McDougall, Henry 
Ladd, Isaac C. Stevens, Kirby Wilber, SheldenJ. 
Hoag, Jacob White, Nathaniel Jenkins, William 
D. Gary, John Tullock, George E. Cady. Stephen 
Badgley, Daniel P. Wing, Abraham Montanye, 
James Clement, Lyman Hows, George Lasher. 

Twenty years later the following list comprised 
most of the leading men in the town. It will be 
seen that some of the names appear in the preced- 
ing list. Henry Sniffers. Charles Dennison, Henry 
Pulver, John McCally, Charles A. Patterson, James 
M. Lasher, Elijah Rockwell, John D. Stillwell, 
Stephen Fuller, J. J. Green, Thomas Freydendall, 
Hiram Hausett, George Mason, Joseph Bennett, 
James Macomber, Amos Chapman, Charles Cady, 
Lovell Doty, Lysander Markle, Elnathan Abrams, 
Elijah Ladd, William Marsh, Samuel Wingate, 
William Turnbull, Silas Tripp, Henry J. Smith, 
Henry Quick, James Liddle, Daniel Wiggins, 
Charles L. Tullock, Thomas Liddle, Adam Hum- 
phrey, Jonathan Soule, William Waddell, William 
McMillan, John Combs, James Wilkinson, Peter 
Cameron, Joseph Eggleston, I^muel Sisson, G. 
T. McFarland, Albert Morey, David Hughes, 
William Koons, Charles Ladd, Henry Jones, John 

Shutt, Philo Avery, Peter Deyo, Orlando Root, Ira 
Marsh, M. H. Rector, William S. Gordon, Ben- 
jamin Warden, Joel J. Smith, Leonard Gaige, 
onathan Harden, Joseph Moore, Jesse Ketcham, 
ohn Ferguson, Elias Gey, Ralph W. McDougall, 
Charles Davis, Jacob Weaver, Charles Case, James 
Tullock, Reuben Briggs, David Griffith, Joseph 
Lason, B. F. Wood, Isaac Quimby, Allen Wilber, 
Samuel Rulison, Jacob Patterson, Abraham Ball, 
Alexander Dorn, Anthony De Long, Stephen 
Badgley, George Badgley, David Underbill.. 


The Dennison Family in Duanesburgh dates 
back to the earlv settlement of the town. Charles 
Dennison, the ancestor, was a native of Ireland. 
He located on the farm now owned and occupied by 
George L. Dennison, about 1773, and was a soldier 
in the patriot service during the revolution. He 
had but one son, Ezekiel, who was bom on the 
homestead, and married a Miss Pulver, living to 
the advanced age of eighty-four years, and having 
a family of several children, of whom Charles Den- 
nison, the eldest, was bom November 20, 1797. 
Charles was twice married; first to Maria, daughter 
of John Thomas, April 10, 18 19. She was bom 
November 16, 1793, and died in 1848. His sec- 
ond marriage was to Mary Lockwood, of Prince- 
town. His children by his first marriage were 
Margaret (deceased), John (living in Iowa), Eliza- 
beth, Charles P. (deceased), Ezekiel (deceased), 
and George L. and William, both of whom are 
farmers in Duanesburgh. George L. Dennison 
was bom September 16, 1834, and was married 
January 9, 1866, to Miss Malinda A. Root, of 
North Norwich, Oxford County, Canada. Their 
children are Sherman H. Dennison, bom October 
3, 1867; John M. Dennison, born September 26, 
1868; Sarah M. Dennison, born October 3, 1870; 
Mary A. Dennison, bom August 21, 1872; L. 
Louise Dennison, born November 20, 1874; 
Martha E. Dennison, born January 12, 1880; and 
Margaret A. Dennison, born April 8, 1882. 

Ralph McDougall was a son of Alexander 
McDougall, a native of the Scotch Highlands, and 
emigrated to America with his father-in-law, Ralph 
Wesley, about 1774. He first located upon land 
now occupied by Duanesburgh Four Corners. His 
son, Ralph McDougall, was born June 6, 1785, and 
married Abigail, daughter of Benjamin Armstrong. 
His father-in-law was a native of Albany County, 
and at that time a farmer in Duanesburgh. Of the 
nine children of Ralph and Abigail McDougall, 
Ann married Joseph Rector and is dead; Hannah 
died, aged twenty-one; Hugh settled on a farm in 
Duanesburgh, and died there November 7, 1878; 
John lives in Walworth County, Wisconsin; Ben- 
jamin is a farmer living near Binghamton, N. Y. ; 
Alexander located adjacent to the old homestead, 
married Abigail, daughter of Alexander Giflford, 
and has a family of six children : Ralph A., Pur- 
son R., Elizabeth, John, Wesley and Hannah; 
Thomas and Abigail are dead; and Ralph W. occu- 
pies the old homestead of two hundred acres 
about a mile east of the village of Duanesburgh, 



and is well known and highly respected by his fel- 
low townsmen. Ralph McDougall died June i, 

The venerable Robert Liddle, of Duanesburgh, 
represents one of the earliest families of the town. 
His grandfather, a Scotchman, emigrated from the 
shire of Roxburgh about 1775. and settled on the 
place now owned and occupied by Robert Kelly, 
in Princetown. He was a mason by trade and did 
much work in Albany, going thither through the 
wilderness to earn money with which to pay for his 
home. He was bom in 1741, and had married 
and had a family before leaving Scotland. His 
wife, and his sons, Thomas and Alexander, and 
his daughter, Margaret, accompanied him. His 
daughter Elizabeth was born during the voyage. 
Christie and John, other children, were burn after 
the establishment of the family in this country. Of 
this generation none are now living. Robert Lid- 
dle is the oldest son of Alexander and Mary (Gif- 
ford) Liddle and was born January 12. 1803. He 
has been three times married. His first wife was 
Sally Smith, daughter of Charles Smith, of Duanes- 
burgh. Her children were Alexander, Mary, 
Abigail, Ann E., Charles, Thomas, Abram S., and 
Robert W. For a second wife he married Sarah, 
daughter of John Robinson, of North Duanes- 
burgh, who bore children named Agnes, Mc- 
Dermott, and Janet His third wife, now living, 
was Janet Young, of Duanesburgh. The Liddle 
family is both numerous and highly respected 
throughout Schenectady County. 

EzEKiEL Tripp was among the earlier settlers of 
the town. With his family of four sons and four 
daughteis, he emigrated from Rhode Island to 
Dutchess County about 1 789. There he remained 
about a year, when he removed to Duanes- 
burgh, and located upon the present home- 
stead of Daniel C. Hoag. This farm, then com- 
prising no acres with small improvements, he 
purchased for $30. His wife was Mary Lawton. 
Benjamin Tripp was their oldest son. He married 
Hannah Deuel, and located on the farm of 107 J 
acres now owned by Darius Tripp, a grandson of 
the pioneer. They had a family of ten children. 
Silas Tripp was the seventh in order of birth. He 
married Martha A. Stevens, and succeeded to the 
ownership of the home. Of the children of Silas 
Tripp, Darius and Emily are living on the old 
Tripp homestead; Jedediah S. is in Wisconsin: 
Ezekiel, Marietle, Samuel B. and Ursula are de- 
ceased; Mercy A. is Mrs. L G. Quimby, of Duanes- 
burgh; and Seneca is in Minnesota. 

William Ladd was one of the pioneer settlers in 
the vicinity of Braman's Comers. With his two 
sons, Thomas and William, Jr., he came from 
Barringtort, Mass., in 1781, and cleared about 
three acres of heavy forest at the spot now occupied 
by the farm buildings of Mr. Walthousen, being 
lot 160 Duane survey, and commonly known as 
the Old Ladd Homestead. This land was 
cleared, plowed and planted to wheat without the 
aid of team, plow or drag. That same year a 
small log cabin was erected, and late in the fall 

Mr. Ladd and his sons returned to Barrington, 
Mass., retracing their tree-marked way to their old 
home. They came back in the spring of 1782, 
bringing with them Mrs. Ladd and other children 
named John, Levi, Sally, Betsey, Susan, Hannah, 
Polly, Nancy, Elizabeth, and Lemuel. In health, 
size and muscular strength, this generation of 
Ladds was a remarkable one. The ancestors of 
William Ladd were of pure English blood, and he, 
with two brothers, emigrated from England in 
1633, and located at Saybrook, Mass. He was 
married to Elizabeth Vining, in Abington, Mass., 
November 4, 1776. John D. Ladd, of Sche- 
nectady, is a son of John I^dd, Jr., and Mary 
Disbrow, his wife. John Ladd, Jr., was a son of 
John Ladd, son of William Ladd, the pioneer in 
Duanesburgh. Thus it will be seen that John D. 
Ladd is of the fourth generation of the family in 
Schenectady County. He was bom in Duanes- 
burgh, October 13, 1827, and until 1862, when 
he removed to Schenectady, lived continuously in 
his native town with the exception of about two 
years, during which he was a salesman in a dr>' 
goods store in Burtonville. In 1866 he entered 
the employ of William McCammus & Co., and 
has held the position ever since, though the old 
firm has been succeeded by T. H. Reeves k Co. 
He married Amanda, daughter of Joseph H. 
Jones, of Duanesburgh, who was bom September 
21, 1833, and has three children, as follows: 
Nettie, born December 11, 1862; Frank, bom 
May 14, 1872; and Justus, born Februar}- 11, 

Henry Shute was bom in Chatham, Columbia 
County, N. Y., October 13, 1769. He married 
Sarah Irish, September 25, 1788, and doubtless 
located in Duanesburgh that same year, on the 
farm now owned and occupied by his two grand- 
sons, F. W. and J. H. Shute. He had a family 
of four sons and four daughters, named Daniel, 
Henr>', Iktsey, Ruth, Eunice, Cynthia, John, and 
Frederick, all of whom are dead. Frederick W., 
John H., and Luther Shute represent the third 
generation in the town, and are sons of John Shute 
who was the seventh son of Henr>', and married 
for his first wife Fannie Norton, who died, leaving 
three sons and a daughter, named Jensen, Jerome, 
William, and Sarah A. Of these Jerome only sur- 
vives, living at Ballston Springs, N. Y. His second 
wife was Prudence, daughter of Asaph Eddy, of 
Albany. The latter was born in 1758, and married 
Sarah Moon, who was born of New England stock 
in 1763, and whose ancestry in the line of the 
Moons is traceable back to about 1693. William 
Shute, Henry Shute's father, served under Lieuten- 
ant Washington at the time of Braddock's defeat, 
and was a daring soldier. 

John L. Jones is one of the oldest residents of 
Duanesburgh, and is a son of one of the early 
settlers of the town. His father, Lewis Jones, 
came from Westchester County in 1787, and 
located near Braman's Corners on the farm Mr. 
Jones now owns and occupies. He was a revolu- 
tionary soldier, and married Eunice Ketcham 


while yet a resident of his naiive county, and had 
nine children, named Ephraim, Jonathan, Nathan- 
iel, Hannah, William, John L., Benjamin, Polly, 
Joseph H., and Lewis. John L. Jones was bom 
December i8, 1798, and married Amy Bagley. 
She died, leaving a daughter named Polly Ann, 
and he married Catharine Koons, by whom he has 
eight children, named Julia, John E., Augusta, 
William. Amy, Uwis, Janei, and De Witt His 
fann consists of 175 acres. 

William TuaNBULL was the hrst of the name in 
Duanesburgh. He located on the properly now 
in possession of Charles Titball, 100 acres taken 
on a lease. George Turnbull was a son of this 
pioneer, and grandfather of John L. Turnbull, the 
well known merchant and present town clerk. He 
was a native Scotchman. A professional gardener, 
he worked in the royal gardens, and was a man of 
prominence. His ancestry is traceable in a direct 
line to the Douglasses, a great and powerful Scot- 
tish house. He married Jane Kennedy, lived 
to the close of his life on the homestead, and 
raised a family of three sons and three daughters. 
William Turnbull succeeded to the ownership of 
the homestead. He is remembered as a tlirifty 
farmer and a popular townsman. He never mar- 
ried, and is dead. James, the second son, began 
life as an employee on the Union College Grounds 
under President Nolt, and by economy and indus- 
try was enabled to enter mercantile Ufe. He was 
a flourishing merchant at Esperance and Burton- 
viUe, Montgomery County, and later was a farmer 
on the George Lisher Place, where he died in 1 858. 
He married Isabel, daughter of Alexander Mcin- 
tosh, an early Scotch -American settler of Prince- 
lown. They had a family of nine children, eight of 
whom grew op: Jane, now Mrs. James Warner, of 
Redwing, Minn.; Arsenelh, now Mrs. Burr Deuel, 
of Winona, Minn.; George A. (deceased), who 
served two years during the Rebellion as captain of 
Co. A., I34lh N. Y. Volunteer Infantry; John L.; 
Rebecca, who became Mrs. T. Romeyn Herrick; 
A. G. W., a farmer in Dakota; William J., a part- 
ner with John L., who married Alice Jarvis; Isabel, 
living in Duanesburgh; and Helen, who died at 
the age of two years. The family has always fig- 
ured conspicuously in the social and business cir- 
cles of the town, and, in addidon to the other im- 
portant trusts which have been confiled to him, 
John L. Turnbull has been chosen Supervisor of 

T. RoMEYK Herrick represents one of the oldest 
and most honored families of the town. His 
grandfadier, Judge Jonathan Herrick, was horn in 
Dutchess County, of Welsh and English parentage, 
in lyfio, and located in Duanesburgh in 1792, on 
the property now occupied by John Holmes. He 
married Patience Palmer, of Dutchess County, by 
whom he had two sons (James and Smith) and 
two daughters (Mary and Amanda). James loca- 
ted on the present George Bender Place, and mar- 
ried Julia, daughter of John Sherbum, and had 
ten sons and two daughters, of whom T. Romeyn 
Herrick is the eighth son and the tenth in the order 

of birth. He lived on the homestead until he was 
about twenty-five years of age, when he married 
Rebecca Turnbull. He engaged in business in 
Albany, and later was for several j'ears in New 
York City. In 1875 he returned to his native town, 
where he has since lived, and during the past eight 
years held the office of Justice of the Peace, 

Ira Estes, merchant at Quaker Street, is a na- 
tive of Duanesburgh, as was his father. The lat- 
ter^Benjamin T. F.stes— was bom on the Lister 
Farm in 1791. He was a carpenter and a Quaker 
minister, and was a regular attendant at the Qua- 
ker Street meeting for about fifty years. He was a 
son of Thomas Estes, one of the original settlers of 
the Duane tract, and doubtless a native of Rhode 
Island, He married Rebecca, daughter of Enoch 
Hoag, an early resident of the town and a member 
of another prominent Quaker family, and they had 
six children, of whom Ira Estes is the oldest liv- 
ing. He was reared a farmer, has been sixteen 
years a stock dealer and twelve years a merchant 
He has been twice married, and has several chil- 
dren. He is justly rated as one of the leading men 
of the town. 

Hon. Alonzo Macomber was born in Chester- 
field, Essex County, N. Y., in 1806. He is a 
mechanic by trade, and as such worked during his 
eariier years. In 1818 he located on a farmabout 
half a mile southwest of Quaker Street, and there 
lived until he took up his present residence in 1846. 
In 1850 he entered upon a mercantile career, in 
which he continued successfully several years. He 
has served his fellow-citizens as Member of Assembly 
one term, as Assistant Internal Revenue Assessor 
seven years, as Justice of the Peace about twenty- 
four years, and as Postmaster one year. He retired 
from active life several years since. He married 
Eliza, daughter of Nathaniel Wilber (deceased), 
and has a s )n, who is a succe-sful dru^st, located 
at No. 42 Hudson avenue, Albany. 

Melville Meaq, one of the most enterprising 
young merchants of Schenectady County, is a son 
of Daniel and a grandson of Zaccheus Mead, both 
deceased. The children of Zaccheus Mead were 
Stephen, Zaccheus, Jr,, John, jehial, Nathaniel, 
Titus, Mary Jane (who married J. Shelden), and 
Daniel, The latter was in early life a money lender. 
I,^ter he engaged in carriage- making at Quaker 
Street, in company with W. R. McGraw. His son, 
Arthur, was also for a lime connected w:th this 
business, which was discontinued in 1881. Daniel 
Mead was twice married, first to Miss Lucretia Wait, 
by whom he had one son, Arthur, and alterward to 
Mary J. Haight, of Dutchess County. Melville 
Mead was the only issue of the marriage. Mr. 
Mead died May 6, 1884, aged seventy-five years. 
His widow survives him. Melville Mead is a prac- 
tical tinsmith. He began business on his own ac- 
count several yejrs ago. He occupies the old W. 
,S, I.ang stand at Quaker Street and does a general 
trade, including tinware, silverware, agricultural 
implements, .stoves, furniture and other articles, 
also doing jobbing in tin gutters and roofing and 
similar supplies. 



Another representative man is Cornell W. Bronk. 
Since the year 1 797, when Abram Bronk settled on 
the present farm of A. Bronk, the family have fig- 
ured more or less conspicuously in the business and 
social development of the town. He came from 
Columbia County and was of Holland Dutch 
parentage. He married Catharine Radley, or 
Ratcliff, as the name was formerly spelled. Nich- 
olas Bronk was a son of Abram, and married Eu- 
nice Wiltsie, and was the father of Cornell W., 
Margaret, Catharine, Eunice, and Isabel Bronk, of 
whom the first mentioned is the only one living in 
the county. Cornell W. Bronk married Elizabeth, 
a daughter of John Levey, of Princetown, and they 
have five children: Catharine, now Mrs. John Mar- 
clay, of Mariaville, John L., Abram N., William 
J., and Nancy E. Mr. Bronk has served his town 
as assessor six years. Abram N. Bronk, of Maria- 
ville, succeeded the firm of Lasher & Son, in part- 
nership with J. A. Bradshaw, in 1879, and in 1881 
purchased his partner's interest. 

His stock consists of a full line of such goods 
as are to be found in all important country stores. 
He obtained his first mercantile experience as a 
clerk during nine years with Lasher & Son. He 
married Maria, daughter of Marcus Delamater, of 
Mariaville, and has two children, named Berdella 
and Emmett Another, named Clifton, died in in- 

G. W. CoNOVER has been a resident of Duanes- 
burgh about twenty- five years. He was born in 
Florida, Montgomery County, March 19, 181 2. 
His father, Marcellus Conover, was a native of the 
town of Glenn, and was a son of Isaac Conover, 
who served as an aid-de-camp to General Washing- 
ton during the revolution. Mr. Con over's ances- 
tors were Holland Dutch and first located in New 
Jersey. The name as now spelled is an English 
modification of the old Dutch name of Covenho- 
ven, by which members of the family were known 
not longer than a generation ago. Isaac Covenho- 
ven and his brother Abraham were bold patriots 
and daring soldiers during the struggle for Ameri- 
can inde[>endence, as is attested by passages in 
Sims' '* Border Wars of Schoharie." George W. 
Conover married Sarah M., daughter of J. P. Rod- 
ley, of Florida, Montgomery County, and they 
have one son, John M. Conover. They live at 
Scotch Church, where they own a fine farm of 265 

Abraham Devenburg is an aged and respected 
citizen. He was bom in Knox, Albany County, 
November 2, 1807. He was one of the founders 
and a liberal supporter of the Free Dutch Church 
of Mariaville. He owns and, in company with his 
son, John, operates the Devenburg Mills, the only 
circular saw-mill in the town. His wife was Ann 
Lloyd. Their son, John Devenburg, was born 
June 27, 1845, and learned the trade of carriage-w 
making at Port Jackson, N. Y. He carries on the 
business of carriage-making at Mariaville. July 3, 
1 866, he married Martha A. , daughter of William 
H. How, of Port Jackson. They have four chil- 
dren, named Eitie L., Ann M., William H., and 

Satie. Harrison P. , another son, died young. Mr. 
Devenburg is known as an enterprising and pro- 
gressive business man. 

Ebenezer Wright was bom in the town of Wes- 
terloo, Albany County, January 27, 1800. His&ther 
was John Wright, his mother, Susan, daughter of 
Captain Nehemiah Bassett His grandfather was 
Mathew Wright, and his grandmother Esther 
Lewis, who was bom in Chatham, Conn. Some 
years before the revolution, Mathew Wright and 
wife, with their sons, Daniel, John, Earl, Mathew, 
Thomas, and Ebenezer, removed from Sinsbury. 
Conn. , to Sharon, Schoharie County. He, with 
Daniel and Earl, shortly afterward removed to 
Otsego County, N. Y. He lived to be 103 years 
old and his wife 90 years. Thomas enlisted in 
the patriot army in the war of the revolution; was 
taken prisoner and confined in a British ship in 
Boston harbor, where he died from starvation with 
a chip in his mouth, with which he was vainly try- 
ing to satisfy the cravings of hunger. John Wright, 
the father of Ebenezer, was in both the revolution- 
ary- war and war of 181 2. After his marriage he 
moved to Albany County and afterward to Schenec- 
tady County. His children were Thomas, John 
Y., Justus, Nehemiah, Samuel, Anna, Fanny, 
Ebenezer, and Jane. Ebenezer married Susan, 
daughter of Olive Briggs, and settled in Quaker 
Street He leamed the carpenter's trade. As a 
workman, ** Boss Wright, " as he was called, had 
no superior in the town. There still remain many 
specimens of his work in buildings and furniture 
which show the ability of the builder. He was 
the undertaker for the neighborhood. When he 
began this business the Friends, or Quakers, who 
composed the largest part of the inhabitants in that 
part of the town, demanded Puritanical simplicity, 
and many of the cofiins were of pine-wood, not 
stained or varnished, without handles or orna- 
ments. The height of extravagance was reached 
when for pine the native cherry was substituted. 
Instead of varnish, wax was used in finishing the 
coffins. He lived to see the time when the plain 
customs of the ancient Friends were foi gotten, 
when ornamented and expensive caskets, and a 
hearse to carry them, were in as much demand 
from their descendants as from the ** Worlds 
People. " He was a man of sterling integrity and 
positive convictions. He was an eamest supporter 
of the Abolition party, and with John Sheldon, 
James Sheldon and Reuben Briggs, acted as 
agents for the ** Underground Railroad," assist- 
ing fleeing slaves on their way to Canada and 
freedom. The next station west was the house 
of Mr. Griggs, a miller. at Schoharie. He was one 
of the Washington ian temperance workers, and 
Quaker Street thirty-five to forty years ago was 
noted for the intelligence, temperate life and indus- 
tr>' of its inhabitants. Upon the organization of 
the Republican party he became identified with it, 
and was honored by his townsmen with several 
positions of trust. A champion of the unfortunate 
the poor, and the oppressed, he was sometimes 
called fanatical, but even his greatest opponents 
unite in pronouncing him honest and sincere. 



Doctor P. A. Brumagin, who for about thirty- 
six years has been a successful practicing physician 
at Mariaville, was born in Root, Montgomery 
County, February 4, 18 16, of which town his 
parents, John and Elizabeth (Carr) Brumagin, were 
natives and life-long residents. He attendevi 
school in Root and received a higher education at 
the Ames Academy. He studied medicine with 
Dr. Thompson Burton, of Charlestown, attended 
lectures at Albany Medical College three successive 
terms, and graduated in the class of 1844. He at 
once began practice at Currytown, Montgomery 
County, and in 1848 located in Mariaville. He 
married Marj-, daughter of Albert and Susan 
McMaster, of Root, Montgomery County, and has 
two children. Patience, now the wife of Peter Turn- 
bull, of Albany, and Charles, a resident of Florida, 
Montgomery County. 

Doctor P. I. Dodge, of Duanesburgh, is a 
native of Palmyra, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. 
He was born April 13, 1857, and is a son of Rev. 
C. F. and Catharine (Darling) Dodge of that place. 
He attended the public schools of Palmyra and 
took an academic course at Big Rapids, Michigan. 
Later he was a student at the Indiana Northern 
Normal School. He studied medicine at the Ben- 
nett Medical College, graduating in 1880. After 
attending the Eclectic Medical College of New 
York in 1883 and 1884, he entered upon his prac- 
tice at Mariaville under auspicious circumstances. 

James McMillex, deceased, was the progenitor 
of a numerous family in this section of New York. 
He was born in Scotland in 1785, and in 1792 
emigrated to America with his parents, locating 
in New Scotland, Albany County. Marr>'ing Sarah 
Jane, he located on the present James Cullings 
Place in Duanesburgh. They had six sons and 
two daughters named as follows : John, James, 
Isaac, Alexander, William, Samuel, Mary, and 
Sarah. William succeeded to the ownership of the 
old homestead. He married Leah, daughter of 
William and Margaret (Walker) Allen. Their 
children were : James L., Margaret I. (now Mrs. 
James CuUings), Samuel, who lives in Livingston 
County, Michigan; and William (deceased). Hugh 
McMillen, a prominent farmer of Duanesburgh, is 
the only one living of the three children of Isaac 
McMillen, son of William. 

David W. Walpole is the youngest son of Rich- 
ard Walpole, deceased. Richard Walpole emi- 
grated from Ireland, where he was born, to 
America about 1836, and located as a farmer in 
Princetown. Removing to Duanesburgh he erected 
the Walpole Mill in 1844, and managed it until 
1873, when he removed to Oswego County, where 
he died, aged 79 years, in 1881. He was an active 
business man, and as a citizen held high in the 
public esteem, as is attested by the fact that he was 
elected Justice of the Peace, serving thirteen years 
in succession. His wife was Margaret, daughter of 
Thomas King, who bore him eight children. In 
1873, David W. Walpole purchased the mill prop- 
erty, which he has since greatly improved by the 
introduction of broom-handle machinery and a 

cider-mill and otherwise, doing a good business in 
the different branches. He married Julia, daughter 
of William B. and Martha (Barrows) Dom, of 
Duanesburgh, and has three children, Mary Belle, 
Martha J., and Mansfield B. 

William J. Gardenier, the present merchant at 
Braman's Corners, is a grandson of William S. Gar- 
denier, who located in Duanesburgh on William J. 
Gardenier s farm about 1830, coming from Colum- 
bia County, where he was born. Samuel W. Gar- 
denier was one of the ablest of his family of three 
sons and six daughters. He married Mary M., 
daughter of John Clayton, of Charlestown, Mont- 
gomery County. Their children were: William J , 
born July 18, 1847, and John A., born March 31, 
1854, now living on the homestead. William J. 
Gardenier made farming his principal business until 
the spring of 1884, when he opened his store. He 
carries a well assorted general stock, and aims to do 
a cash business at the lowest possible prices. He 
married Miss Ellen Nethaway, of Duanesburgh, 
but formerly of Schoharie County, and they have 
?i\Q children, named Judson, Wilmer, Arthur, 
Mary E., and Martha. 

Benjamin Wiltsie, of Mariaville, was bom on the 
farm in Duanesburgh now owned by William and 
John De Graff, in 1824. His father was John B. 
Wiltsie and his grandfather Cornelius Wiltsie, who 
came from Dutchess County as one of the early 
settlers of the town. The pioneer had a family of 
four sons and three daughters, of whom John B. 
was the third, born May 26, 1803. The latter 
married Maria, daughter of Abraham and Rebecca 
(Van Vechten) Dom, in 1823. Benjamin Wiltsie 
located at Mariaville in 1853. In 1856 he took 
possession of the Wiltsie House, which he has since 
conducted. He married Jane S., daughter of 
Hiram Hansit, who was for many years postmaster 
of Mariaville, and has four children: Emma H. 
(now Mrs. A. J. Bradshaw), John B., Emmet H., 
and Ann M. 

Benjamin Gaige was one of nine brothers, all of 
whom settled in Albany and Schenectady Counties 
within a circuit often miles. Their parents, Joseph 
and Mary Mortimer Gaige, came from England. 
Benjamin Gaige came in 1791 from Quaker Hill, 
Dutchess County, to the property now of Asa M. 
Gaige, a great-grandson. He brought with him a 
family of six children. Of these, Phebe married 
Henderson Smith and removed to Western New 
York; Ebenezer and Mortimer removed to Silver 
Lake, Susquehanna County; Abram removed to 
Pennsylvania and thence to Otsego County, where he 
died; Miriam married Abram Coon and removed 
with him to Broome County, where both died ; and 
Jane became the wife of Isaac Stevens and lived at 
Quaker Street and later at Kirkwood, N. Y., where 
she died. Five other children were bom in Duanes- 
burgh. Of these, Asa B setded on the homestead, 
where he died May 2, 1869; Benjamin removed to 
Pennsylvania and thence to Michigan, where he 
died; Philip is living at an advanced age at Quaker 
Street; Mary married and located in Root, Mont- 
gomery County; and Lydia married John Lake and 


removed to Orleans County, where she ended her 
days. Isaac B. Gaige was twice married, first to 
Joanna, daughter of Joseph and Apphia (Mosher) 
l-ason, of Columbia County, who died August 27, 
1S33, and secondly to Margaret, daughter of 
Abram and Helen (Bail) Sternberg. By the first 
marriage were bom children named Walter, 
Ebenezer, Joseph I_, and Phebe; by the sec- 
ond marriage children named Lucy B, and 
Helen M. The latter married Joseph Wright, of 
Brooklj-n, N. Y. Joseph L. Gaige, the third son 
of Isaac B. Gaige, married Eliza J., daughter of 
Asa and Mary (Birdsall) Marshall, of Westchester 
County. He died in 1870, leaving two sons, Asa 
M. and Isaac B., both iivmg in Duanesburgh. Asa 
M. married Fanny G., daughter of Nathaniel and 
Sarah J. (For^) Estes, of Utica, N. Y.. and they 
have a daughter named Jennie, bom July i, 

Elnathan Abhams settled about one mile east of 
Bra man's Comers about 1839. He was born in 
Florida, N. Y., and married Anna, daughter of 
Solomon Strong, one of the pioneers of that town. 
They had ; three sons : Solomon. John K., and J. 
Danforth Abrams. Solomon Abrams was bom 
near Swan's Comers, Florida, N. Y., February 10, 
1824; marrried Charlotte, daughter of John Vic- 
tory, of Duanesburgh; and has been a resident of 
Schenectady about thirty years. John K., a school 
teacher, lives at Little Falls, N. Y. J. Danforlh 
enlisted and served in the United States Army in 
the late war, and died, in service, of fever, Novem- 
ber 12, 1864. He married Susan, daughter of 
Elijah Ladd, who survives him, living near Bra- 
man's Comers. They had two sons, one of whom 
is Dr. A. E. .\brams, of Hartford, Conn., and the 
other, Elijah D, , is a machinist in the Ellis Loco- 
motive Works, Schenectady. Anthony Abrams, 
great-grandfather of the present generation of 
Abramses, was a native-bom German, who emigrated 
to America when a young man and married a Miss 
Mickle, They had a son named Andrew, who 
was drowned at about the age of twenty-one years; 
another named John, who was the grandfather of 
Solomon and the father of Elnathan Abrams; and 
a daughter who died unmarried. The former or- 
thography of the name was Abrahams. 

Rev, DAvin Cook Davis isa son of David Davis, 
of New Hampshire, and was bom in Stratford, that 
State, September 10, 1815. Hismother was Mary 
Cook. He attended the Wolfsbury Academy, N. 
H. . until the death of his mother, when he was 
obliged to abandon school for a time. In 1 841 he 
began to study for the ministry at Boston, and in 
1845 began preaching the Gospel at Dedham, 
Mass., and continued the work at other places in 
New Hampshire and New York. From 1851 to 
1874 he was engaged in secular business in New 
York City. At the latter date he was called to the 
pastorate of the Church of the Redeemer (Univer- 
salist] at Braman's Corners, where he remained 
several years. He married Euphemia, daughter 
of John and Isabella (Russell) Murray. June 14, 
1835. The fruits of this union have been David 

M. Davis, ofTrenton, N. I. ; Alexander M. Davis, 
of Boston, Mass.; Mary E. (Mrs. George Turn- 
bull); Isabella R. (deceased); Jessie (Mrs. Dr. A. 
K Abrams, of Hartford, Conn.); and Eliza H. 
(Mrs. G. N. Banker, of Duanesburgh), Mr. Davis 
has for some years lived the quiet and honored life 
of a retired clergyman. 

Rev. DAvro B. Hall, of Duanesburgh, was bom 
March 16, i8iz, at Middle Granville, Washington 
Cbunty, N. Y. He spent two years in study at 
Burr Seminary at Manchester, VL, and four years 
at Union College, Schenectady, where he gradu- 
ated in 1839. He studied theology at Princeton 
Theological Seminary, Princeton, N, J., and was 
ordained to preach the Gospel by the Association 
of Pawlet, Vl He has labored with success in 
several churches in connection with the Reformed 
Dutch Church of America, among them the Re- 
formed Dutch Church of Princelown, Schenectady 
Couniy, of which he was pastor several years. He 
was many years compiling an elaborate genealogy 
of the Hall &mily of New England, which has re- 
sulted in a creditable work of 800 large octavo 
pages, and containing many valuable portraits. 
He was married April 14, 1856, to Jane Eliza, 
daughter of Mulfotd and Rosanna (Hitchcock) 
Dayton, of Middle Granville, N. Y. His children, 
bom in Princetown, are Mary Jane, bom August 
31, 1857; Sarah E, D., bom October 11, 1862; 
and Hattie E. M.. bom April 15, 1868. 

Samuel Brow.v, an old and respected citizen of 
the town, was born in Saratoga County in 1807. 
His parents were Daniel and Louisa (Palmer) 
Brown, his father a native of Saratoga County, and 
his mother of Stockbridge, Mass. Samuel was the 
second of a family of five children. He married 
Jane, daughter of William Rose, of Saratoga 
Couniy, and has one son, named Samuel, living at 
home. He owns a farm of sixty-five acres, pur- 
chased of William I. Mcintosh, 

William Chadwick is a representative farmer. 
He was bom in Renaselaerville, Albany Couniy, a 
son of John Chadwick and a grandson of Aaron 
Chadwick, who was originally from Cape Cod, 
Mass., where his ancestors located as emigrants 
from England in the days of the old Cape Cod 
Colony. Locating for a time in Dutchess County, 
Aaron Chadwick removed to Otsego County, and 
soon afterward to Albany County. John Chad-- 
wick, his youngest child, married Ann, daughter 
of Caleb Spencer, of Westerioo, and had five sons: 
Henry (deceased); Aaron; William, who married 
Martha, daughter of Joel Moore, of Duanesbugh; 
E. Spencer, a merchant at St. Paul, Nebraska, 
where he was a pioneer; and Thomas R., a farmer 
near Rensselaerville, Albany County. 

John O. Becker has been a resident of Duanes- 
burgh since i86z. He was bom in Sharon, 
Schoharie Couniy, June zo, 1824, a son of David 
and Elizabeth (Bellinger) Becker, both natives of 
the town of Middleburj-, N. Y,, he of the second 
generation from Holland and she of German 
ancestry, iheir parents having been among the first 
settlersofMiddlebury, where they lived in the wilder- 


ness during the most perilous period of the revolu- 
tion, subjected to the many hardships of those 
times which tried men's souls. John O. Becker 
left home at about the age of fourteen, alone and 
penniless. He found employment for a time on 
public works at Fort Plain, and, accumulating 
some means, purchased property in Florida, Mont- 
gomery County, where he lived until his removal 
to Duanesburgh. In 18+3 he married Margaret 
Cooley. She died in 1844, leaving a son, David. 
In 1847 Mr. Becker married Sophia Casey, now 
deceased. David Becker married Miss Melissa 
Levey, of Mariaville, and has a son and a daugh- 

LuLY Patterson, the founder of Patterson ville, 
was bom in Duanesburgh, in 181 z, and died 
February 19, 1881. He married Adeline Mont- 
gomery and she bore him five children, as follows : 
Alexander, a resident of Amsterdam, N. Y.; Will- 
iam H. Patterson, of Pattersonville ; Una (Mrs. 
3. L. Mariett) ; Clara (deceased); and Frances 
{wife of J. W. Olney, who is connected with the 
West Shore Railway). He located at the little 
hamlet which now bears his name, in 1856, and 
bought the John T. Hoffman property. A man 
of energy and enterprise, he was instrumental in 
establishing a post-office at that point, and he soon 
erected a store, hotel and several dwellings, and 
opened quite an extensive trade. He was Super- 
visor of the town, and took an active interest in 
all public affairs. His son, WiUiam H. Patterson, 
began trade in 1S84, his building and stock ate new 
and fresh, and he is a prominent business man. He 
married Gertrude Wiley, who died, leaving two 
children named Harriet and Seely. Bina Brad- 
ford was his second wife, and died without issue. 
His present wife was Gertrude O. Dickerman, by 
whom he has a son, Freeman M, 

Joseph Gkxin, of Green's Comers, represents 
one of the old families of the town, Robert Green 
and John Manning, his brother-in-law, having 
located at the Comers about 1780. They came 
from Dutchess County. Sarah Manning was 
Robert Green's wife. She bore him six sons, five 
of whom lived to advanced age. John M. Green 
was their second son, bom August i r, 1792, on 
the homestead at Green's Comers. He married 
Mary, daughter of I^ilip Radley, an early settler in 
Montgomery County, and located on a farm 
adjoining the homestead and there lived until 
December 16, 1S83, when he died. He had two 
children, Susannah (deceased) and Joseph, who 
owns both his father's and grandfather's homesteads, 
aggregating 235 acres. He married Janet, daughter 
of William Lendrum, of Duanesburgh, and they 
have one son, John. 

James Frost, Sr., was born in Easton, Washing- 
ton County, N. Y., in 1783, and when a boy came 
with his father's ^mily to Duanesburgh. His 
father, Lot Frost, came to the town soon enough 
to be placed in the catalogue of the earlier settlers. 
The boy, taking naturally to books and scientific 
knowledge, educated himself, and for a time was a 
schoolmaster. In the meantime he had become 

an expert surveyor, and, in connection with the 
able surveyor Zoller, he made numerous important 
surveys. He was the engineer of the Albany and 
Susquehanna Railroad ; made many valuable and 
extensive surveys in Albany, Schenectady, Scho- 
harie, Franklin and Montgomery Counties, N. Y, ; 
and laid out the City of Eiizabeih, N. J, He 
married Mary, daughter of Major Marsh, and had 
five sons and five daughters, three of whom are 
now living : General D. M. Frost, of Sl Louis, 
who served the Confederate cause during the re- 
bellion ; Mrs. Daniel Yost, of Fort Plain; and 
Miss M. Louisa Frost, of Maiiaville. 

The late Doctor Joseph Brahak came firom 
Tolland County, Conn., to Esperance in 1811, and 
from Esperance in 1814 to Duanesburgh. He was 
a son of Joseph and Anna (Jenks) Braman, the 
former of whom was born in 1760 and the latter in 
1 764. Their children were bom in the following 
order: Bartimeus, 1786; Isaac, 1788; Fanny, 
1790; Joseph, 1792; Betsey, 1795; Sophia, 1797; 
Orsamus, 1799; Ephraim, 1801; John J,, 1803; 
Aurora, 1806; andOrrin, 1808. Dr. Joseph Bra- 
man came of age in 1813, at which time he 
was made a Mason. He taught school and read 
medicine, and for many years was a leading 
physician and citizen. He died March 24, 1885. 
He was twice married, first to Rachel Shute, and 
second to Catharine Stewart Their children were 
born as follows: Catharine, 1816; Elvira, 1818; 
Emma, 1822; Mariette, 1825; Delos, 1829; and 
Harriet, 1S33. Doctor Delos Braman graduated 
from the Albany Medical College in 1852. He 
practiced his profession three years with his father, 
in Duanesburgh, and twenty years in the West, when 
he returned to Duanesburgh, In 1859 he mar- 
ried Miss Agnes Tanner, of Wisconsin. They 
have two children, named Anna and Joseph. 


This well known gentleman, who has been a 
life-long resident of Duanesburgh, is a son of 
Doctor John Wood, who was an early and 
highly esteemed physician and surgeon in this sec- 
tion. Doctor Wood was the oldest son of Benja- 
min Wood, once a farmer in Wright, Schoharie 
County, who settled there in 1789, married a Miss 
1'ygert, and had nine sons and three daughters. 
He studi